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Greece, France ink $3bn fighter jet deal

French Rafale fighter jets fly over the French aircraft carrier, Charles de Gaulle, off the eastern coast of Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea on February 10, 2020 [MARIO GOLDMAN/AFP via Getty Images]
French Rafale fighter jets fly over the French aircraft carrier, Charles de Gaulle, off the eastern coast of Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea on February 10, 2020 [MARIO GOLDMAN/AFP via Getty Images]

Greece and France signed a $3 billion warplane deal yesterday as part of plans to upgrade Athens' armed force in response to Turkish challenges in the Eastern Mediterranean, France24 reports.

Greece will buy 18 French Rafale jets, 12 of them used, the report explained.

Government spokesman Christos Tarantilis said delivery of the first six planes would begin in July.

A group of Greek air force pilots and technicians are to travel to France for training over the next few days, he added.

Tensions between Turkey and Greece have risen in recent months over a border dispute in the Mediterranean Sea.

READ: EU imposes sanctions on Turkey officials involved in gas drillings

In August, Turkey resumed energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean after Greece and Egypt signed a controversial maritime delimitation deal, spurning Turkey's goodwill gesture in halting explorations.

Turkey has consistently opposed Greece's efforts to declare an exclusive economic zone based on small islands near Turkish shores, violating Ankara's interests, the country with the longest coastline on the Mediterranean.

Ankara has also said energy resources near the island of Cyprus must be shared fairly between the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and the Greek Cypriot administration of Southern Cyprus.

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Europe & RussiaFranceGreeceNewsTurkey
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