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Crete at center of converging, conflicting interests for Turkey, Greece in EastMed

Greece recently announced the creation of a new naval base on the strategic island of Crete, amid increasing tensions over Ankara’s activities in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (C-L) and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis visit the Greek Naval frigate Salamis during their visit to the Naval Support Activity base at Souda, the foremost US naval facility in the eastern Mediterranean on the Greek island of Crete. - US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on September 29, 2020, concludes a two-day visit to Greece on with a tour of a strategically vital NATO base on a trip aimed at easing tensions between Greece and Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean.
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Greek Minister of Defense Nikos Panagiotopoulos has announced plans to create a new Hellenic naval base on Crete as Greece leverages its southernmost island as a pillar of security policy in the Eastern Mediterranean amid ongoing tensions with Turkey.

Periklis Zorzovilis, head of the Athens-based Institute for Security and Defense Analysis, told Al-Monitor that from a geostrategic standpoint, the increasing militarization of Crete is well placed.

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