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The navies of Greece, Cyprus, France, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates are conducting joint military drills in the eastern Mediterranean after heightened tensions with Turkey over territorial rights and hydrocarbon resources, the Greek Reporter reported.

The naval drill are expected to last until December 6.

Last Sunday, the Turkish defense ministry said the planned military drills once again show who wants tension, avoids dialogue.

Political and military tensions between Turkey and other countries in the region have escalated after Turkey sent research ships to explore for hydrocarbons in the eastern Mediterranean this summer. Turkey also entered into political conflict with Egypt and the UAE over the war in Libya, where countries support opposing sides of the conflict.

The naval drill follows similar joint drills by the Egyptian, French, US, and Greek navies in late July. The EU political leadership will meet in early December to decide on possible sanctions against Turkey for undermining Greek and Cypriot sovereignty.

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