Amid tensions with Turkey, the United Arab Emirates Air Force conducted joint exercises with the Greek Air Force in the eastern Mediterranean near Sirte.
The United Arab Emirates is sending four F-16 fighter aircraft for joint training with the Greek military on Crete, an Athens-based daily newspaper reported.
The aircraft will partake in training exercise with Greece’s military over the Eastern Mediterranean amid heightened tensions with Turkey, which has deployed naval vessels to escort a hydrocarbon exploration ship to waters claimed by Greece.
The head of Greece’s Hellenic National Defense staff spoke with his Emirati counterpart, Lt. Gen. Hamad Mohammed Thani Al Rumaithi, on Thursday, Kathimerini reported.
Athens’ Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias also spoke with UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan. A spokesperson for the UAE’s defense ministry was not immediately available for comment.
The deployment comes as Turkey also prepared to announce its largest-ever natural gas discovery in the Black Sea, and just a week after the UAE announced its formal recognition the state of Israel in a historic deal brokered by the US.