NATO op­er­a­tion starts amid Greek-Turk­ish ten­sions

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

NATO’s new mar­itime se­cu­rity op­er­a­tion, Sea Guardian, which kicked off yes­ter­day in the cen­tral Mediter­ranean with the par­tic­i­pa­tion of a Greek sub­ma­rine and a Turk­ish frigate, is seen as sym­bolic of the need for co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two coun­tries.

How­ever, ten­sions flared again be­tween Athens and Ankara af­ter a Turk­ish Coast Guard he­li­copter en­tered the Athens Flight In­for­ma­tion Re­gion (FIR) and flew over the is- land of Panaghia at an al­ti­tude of 1,000 feet. The Sea Guardian op­er­a­tion de­ployed three ships and two sub­marines, and is linked to coun­tert­er­ror­ism, ca­pac­ity build­ing and the bid to pa­trol the seas. The op­er­a­tion, which is set to in­clude a larger role of the Souda base on Crete, plans to join forces with the EU’s Op­er­a­tion Sophia, al­ready un­der way in the re­gion, im­ply­ing that ear­lier dif­fer­ences be­tween EU mem­ber Cyprus and NATO mem­ber Turkey have been over­come.

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