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UAE sends F-16s for training with Greek military amid tensions with Turkey

August 24, 2020 at 11:07 am

Solo Turk, the aerobatic team of the Turkish Air Force, fly their F-16 Fighters over Istanbul’s new airport on September 20, 2018 in Istanbul [OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images]

The United Arab Emirates sent four F-16 fighter jets to take part in military training exercises with the Greece on the island of Crete, the Athens-based daily newspaper Kathimerini reported on Friday.

According to paper, the aircraft will join in the training exercise with Greece’s military over the Eastern Mediterranean amid heightened tensions with Turkey.

Last month, Turkey deployed naval vessels to escort a hydrocarbon exploration ship in waters claimed by Greece, angering the Greek government.

Last week, French President Emmanuel Macron urged Turkey to halt oil and gas exploration in disputed waters in the area.

Israel, Cyprus and Egypt joined France in voicing support for Greece in the dispute.

READ: Turkey has a legitimate presence in the Mediterranean Sea

Turkey originally appeared to back off its exploration mission earlier this year after objections from the European Union and US, but then dispatched the vessel, the Oruc Reis, on 10 August.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the only solution in the Mediterranean was dialogue and that his country was not chasing adventure.

“If we act with common sense and reason, we can find a win-win solution that meets everyone’s interests,” he said.

In a report yesterday, the Sunday Times said Israel has been coordinating with Egypt, the UAE and Saudi Arabia to demonise Turkey, which Israel’s Mossad Chief Yossi Cohen believes a “bigger threat”.