Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis delivers his annual speech on the state of the country"s economy, in Thessaloniki, Greece

picture copyrightReuters

picture captionThe Greek prime minister introduced plans to extend the variety of troopers

Greece has introduced a big weapons buy as tensions with neighbouring Turkey rise.

The brand new arms embody 18 French Rafale fighter jets, 4 frigates and 4 navy helicopters, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis stated.

The nation additionally plans to extend the dimensions of its armed forces by 15,000 troopers over the following 5 years.

Tensions have flared between Greece and Turkey over fuel reserves within the Jap Mediterranean.

Turkey just lately despatched vessels to conduct seismic analysis sharpening a dispute with Greece over territory.

The 2 Nato allies have competing claims over maritime rights, prompting fears that tensions might escalate additional.

The European Union, of which Greece is a member, has beforehand referred to as for dialogue.

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“The time has come to strengthen the armed forces… these initiatives represent a sturdy programme that may grow to be a nationwide protect,” Mr Mitsotakis stated on Saturday.

The spending may also embody new anti-tank weapons, navy torpedoes and air power missiles.

The brand new spending is the most important in twenty years, AFP information company studies.

France has backed Greece within the dispute with Turkey, and earlier this week President Emmanuel Macron pressured the significance of being “clear and agency” with Turkey, which he accused of “unacceptable behaviours”.

What is the background?

In July, Turkey introduced it was sending a analysis ship to hold out a drilling survey in waters near the Greek island of Kastellorizo, a brief distance from the coast of south-west Turkey.

picture copyrightReuters
picture captionThe Oruc Reis is escorted by Turkish navy ships in a photograph offered by the defence ministry

In response, Greece carried out naval workouts with quite a few EU nations and the United Arab Emirates.

Tensions between the 2 nations have been strained by a number of different points, together with the divided island of Cyprus and the crossing of migrants into Greece from Turkey.

Greece additionally opposed Turkey’s current choice to show the Hagia Sophia museum in Istanbul again right into a mosque. It had been an Orthodox Christian cathedral for hundreds of years.

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media captionFor greater than 40 years Cyprus has been a divided island.

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