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FACTDROP: Turkey-Greece engage in mock dogfights over Cyprus as Israeli PM arrives


Turkey-Greece engage in mock dogfights over Cyprus as Israeli PM arrives

Πηγή: Cyprusmail
Feb 17 2012

GREEK AND Turkish jets tangled in mock dogfights in Cypriot airspace yesterday just as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was arriving on the island, reports said.

According to Sigma, around 11am three Greek Mirage-2000 fighters began shadowing two Turkish F-16 jets after the latter flew between Rhodes and Crete on their way from the eastern Mediterranean where Turkish ships were conducting wargames with live ammunition.

The Turkish military exercise, the Foreign Minister said earlier, took place within Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone, in waters south of the island and close to, or inside, Block 12.

The Greek jets reportedly pursued the Turkish fighters all the way back into the Nicosia Flight Information Region, at which point the Turkish planes changed course and headed off toward the Turkish mainland.

Meanwhile Greek Foreign Minister Stavros Dimas yesterday referred to Turkey’s continuing challenges to Greece’s airspace and sovereign rights, urging Ankara to respect international law and the Law of the Sea.

“It is a behaviour that must stop. Greece defends its rights. Unfortunately, instead of talking today about what unites us, we see challenges that undermine the prospects for improvement of our relations”, Dimas said.

He was speaking during a joint press conference in Athens with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

“As we have repeatedly emphasized in the past, Greece and Cyprus do not intend to follow Turkey in the rise of threats and challenges”, Dimas added.

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