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Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis warmly thanked France for its pledge to strengthen its military presence in the Eastern Mediterranean, where Greek and Turkish ships are crowding each other over Turkey's intention to extract hydrocarbons in Mediterranean waters, the Associated Press reported.

Mitsotakis tweeted and called French President Emmanuel Macron a true friend of Greece, as well as an ardent defender of European values ​​and international law.

On Wednesday evening, during a phone talk with Mitsotakis, Macron said that he decided to temporarily strengthen the French military presence in the Eastern Mediterranean in the coming days in cooperation with European partners, including Greece.

Earlier, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that Turkey wants to resolve the dispute with Greece over hydrocarbon exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean through dialogue while stressing that Ankara will defend its rights and interests in the region.

Earlier Greece said it would request an emergency meeting of EU foreign ministers in connection with Turkey's decision to send a seismic research vessel to the eastern Mediterranean.

The Greek Foreign Ministry called on Turkey to immediately stop illegal activities that undermine peace and security in the region. Turkey dismissed Greece's objections, saying they had no legal basis and pledged to continue operations.

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