France to bolster Mediterranean military presence over Turkish prospecting
France will increase its military presence in the eastern Mediterranean, President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday, calling on Turkey to halt oil and gas exploration in disputed waters that has heightened tensions with Greece.
The French leader voiced concern over "unilateral" exploration by Turkey in a call with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Macron's office said in a statement. It added that prospecting should "cease in order to allow a peaceful dialogue" between the neighbouring NATO members.
The standoff deepened this week with the arrival of Turkish seismic research vessel Oruc Reis in a disputed area of the Mediterranean, accompanied by warships.
France will "temporarily reinforce" its military presence, Macron's statement said, to "monitor the situation in the region and mark its determination to uphold international law."