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Cyprus, Greece, France, US, Israel hold naval exercise

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In a show of military cooperation in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus took part in joint manoeuvres with the Israel navy, Greece, the US and France, practising anti-submarine warfare, search-and-rescue operations.

The annual drills conducted on 7-11 March were part of the Noble Dina 2021 exercise and included naval vessels and helicopters.

“The Republic of Cyprus participated in all phases of the exercise with a ship and helicopter. The Search and Rescue Coordination Centre took part,” the Cypriot Defence Ministry said Friday.

“The participation of units and personnel in the exercise is considered a success, as it provided them with a substantial and practical opportunity for operational training in cooperation with forces of neighbouring and friendly countries in the region,” it added.

The Greek navy said the exercise’s main objectives were to address modern challenges and threats in the marine environment and promote cooperation and mutual understanding among the navies.

The Israel-hosted drill took place in the Eastern Mediterranean and the southern part of the Aegean Sea.

Most of the exercise dealt with underwater warfare, rescue situations and air defence.

Israel regularly participates in military exercises with the United States, Cyprus, and Greece.

It was the first time France participated in the naval drill, which comes amid increased tension in the Mediterranean over energy claims.