France pledges to send warships to support Greece, if Turkish standoff intensifies

*Image credit: EPA

French President Emmanuel Macron has pledged France would support Greece and dispatch war frigates to the country if a standoff with Turkey over regional energy reserves intensifies.

According to The Guardian, Greece’s Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, currently in Paris, has welcomed the decision, as tensions between Athens and Ankara cause growing international alarm.

Mitsotakis described the vessels as “guarantors of peace," and added, "The only way to end differences in the eastern Mediterranean is through international justice," the Greek PM told reporters after holding talks with Macron.

Mitsotakis was in the French capital on a visit aimed at rallying EU support at a time when hostile relations with Turkey have eclipsed all other issues on the agenda of his near seven-month-old government.

“I want to express my concerns with regard to the behaviour of Turkey at the moment … we have seen during these last days Turkish warships accompanied by Syrian mercenaries arrive on Libyan soil. This is an explicit and serious infringement of what was agreed [at last week’s peace conference] in Berlin. It’s a broken promise," said Macron.

The French-Greek alliance cements what officials in Athens are calling a renewed diplomatic push to counter Turkish belligerence in the Mediterranean.

Greece’s defence minister, Nikos Panagiotopoulos, recently went as far as to warn that armed forces were “examining all scenarios, even that of military engagement” in the face of heightened aggression from Ankara. Rejecting Turkish demands that Greece demilitarises 16 Aegean islands, he accused Turkey of displaying unusually provocative behaviour.

*Source: The Guardian