Athens: Amid the indications of increasing Turkish activities in the Mediterranean Sea, Greece Egypt and Cyprus held multinational war exercises. Warships from all the three countries participated in the war exercises code named Medusa-7 and stayed near the Crete Islands in Greece. Egypt and Greece have been regularly holding Medusa war exercises since 2015, but this is the first time that Cyprus has also participated in them.
The Defence Ministers of Greece, Egypt and Cyprus visited the Medusa 7 was exercises held last week. The Egyptian helicopter carrier ENS Anwar Sadat and Greek destroyer HS Ali were the main attractions of the war exercises. Hitting targets, tracking submarines and retaliation against the enemy’s air attack were stressed during the war exercises.
There is a major dispute between Greece, Cyprus and Turkey over the rights and the oil reserves in the Mediterranean Sea. Turkey has claimed rights over the Cyprian and Greek areas and has threatened to start a conflict over these rights. Cyprus and Greece have given rights for exploration to foreign oil companies in their respective marine regions, and these companies are said to be starting the investigation soon, in these regions. But Turkey has threatened these oil companies and has warned that their ships will be prevented from entering the territory.
Against the background of this Turkish threat, the joint war exercises by Greece, Egypt and Cyprus become significant. The exercises demonstrated unity between Greece and Cyprus and also indicated that they were supported by a country like Egypt too. This is a direct warning to Turkey that if Turkey continues its aggression, Greece and Cyprus will retaliate.
Meanwhile, Turkey has initiated movements to build a naval base on an island in the marine region of Cyprus. Thus, the tension in the area may fester further.