Gov’t strives to keep lid on tension in Mediterranean


Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Friday that Greece would continue to protect its sovereign rights as a Turkish research vessel remained within Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone and near Greece’s continental shelf.

The Hellenic Navy’s Nikiforos Fokas frigate remained in the area on Friday, monitoring the movements of the Barbaros.

Earlier in the week Greek defense officials issued a radio warning to the vessel, which retreated. Tsipras said Greece has taken “all foreseen measures on the diplomatic and defense level.”

Defense Minister Panos Kammenos said Greece wants to sustain good-neighborly ties with Turkey, adding that this is “also in the interest of Turkey.”

Meanwhile two Turkish CN-235 surveillance aircraft violated Greek air space in the Aegean 19 times. The planes were intercepted by Greek aircraft.