Greece leases Israeli drones to bolster border defence

Greece will lease Israeli unmanned aerial vehicles to strengthen its border defence, Bloomberg said on Wednesday.

"The three-year lease agreement includes an option to purchase the system after the end of the period," Bloomberg said, citing Israeli defence ministry.

The agreement comes after thousands of migrants in Turkey gathered at the Greek border in March following the Turkish authorities' announcement in late February that they would no longer stop migrants trying to get to Europe. 

Israel and Greece have recently strengthened their ties, especially in their cooperation over natural gas assets in the eastern Mediterranean where tensions have increased with Turkey, which is also seeking to undertake gas exploration in the region.

The Cypriot, Egyptian, Greek, Israeli, Italian, Jordanian, and Palestinian energy ministers last year agreed to set up the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMFG), a joint platform to oversee the emerging regional gas market. The deal excluded Turkey, although Greek officials said membership remained open to any country willing to abide by its rules.