Arab fighter jets leave for Crete for joint exercises with Greece
WARSAW, (BM) – Greek sources suggest that F-16 fighter planes from the United Arab Emirates are to arrive in Crete, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing Defence24.
Thus, in the coming days, joint military exercises by both countries in the region of the Eastern Mediterranean are to be launched. It cannot be denied that this is yet another stage in the game of nerves between Turkey and the countries opposing Ankara’s policy in the region.
Four F-16 multi-role planes belonging to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) air force are due to arrive or have already appeared on the Greek island of Crete. The Greek air force base that is supposed to host them is the famous Souda. In total, the UAE air force has more than seventy F-16s.
The dislocation of UAE machines is a derivative of the decisions of the political authorities of the defense and foreign ministries of both countries. Such information was provided, among others, by Vassilis Nedos from Ekathimerini.com.
The decision to send the F-16s to Crete is part of a wider attempt to strengthen the UAE’s relations with the rest of the world, right after the landmark decision to recognize the state of Israel.
They ensured their close relations, among others Chief of Staff of the Greek Armed Forces (GEETHA) Gen. Konstantinos Floros and Gen. Hamad Mohammed Thani Al Rumaithi representing the UAE. Both were to discuss the security situation in the Eastern Mediterranean region.
Joint exercises by the armed forces of Greece and the United Arab Emirates are to take place in the following days. In addition to the aircraft and their pilots, the necessary support personnel from the UAE air force will be deployed.
It should be remembered that earlier in the vicinity of Crete and on the island itself, the effects of the military rapprochement between Greece and France could be seen, French planes and ships operated in the area.
At present, Athens is receiving another important signal of support in terms of the crisis situation with Turkey, but from a potential coalition partner from the group of Arab states. It must be borne in mind that the UAE is competing with Turkey, especially in the field of the contemporary conflict in Libya.
Therefore, it can be safely said that the high mobilization of all who are rivals of the Turkish side is visible. Athens is also putting particular pressure on the military-political rapprochement with Egypt and Israel.
Greece, meanwhile, has received Israeli support in the conflict with Turkey
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on August 13 that his country is looking very seriously at any act of aggression being carried out in the Eastern Mediterranean region, regardless of which party did it, including Turkey.
Netanyahu published a new tweet on Thursday, in which he clarified that he had received the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias.
The Israeli premier said that his country is standing by Athens, in light of the crisis between Turkey and Greece in the eastern Mediterranean.
The Israeli Prime Minister pointed out that the visit by Dendias to Israel is another expression of the important friendship between his country and Greece, noting that the bilateral relations are expanding on the common geopolitical interests.
Turkey has previously sent a seismic research ship to the disputed area in the eastern Mediterranean, in a move that prompted Greece to raise its alert levels, while the mission aims to explore for potential oil and gas deposits south of the Greek island of Kastellorizo.
The Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, called for a meeting with army leaders on Monday, after Turkey issued an international maritime warning, known as “Naftex”.
On August 6, Greece and Egypt signed an agreement to create an exclusive economic zone in waters that contain oil and gas reserves; this was later rejected by Turkey and called invalid by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
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