Greece is reportedly in discussions with France over purchase of aircraft as the country seeks to strengthen its defence capabilities amid escalating tensions with Turkey.

Reuters quoted a government official as saying that the country is also in talks with other countries over arms purchases.

A government official was quoted by the news agency as saying: “We are in talks with France, and not only with France, in order to increase our country’s defence potential.

“Within this framework, there is a discussion which includes the purchase of aircraft.”

Earlier this week, Greek media reported that the country is set to buy 18 Rafale multirole fighter jets developed by French company Dassault Aviation.

Commenting on the report, a French government source told Reuters: “There is no agreement as written in several media. However, there are discussions on a number of subjects.”

Greece and its neighbouring country, Turkey, are currently involved in a dispute over oil and gas exploration in contested waters.

The tensions recently intensified after Turkish seismic vessel Oruc Reis sailed through a disputed area of the Mediterranean.

Last week, Turkey extended the work of its survey vessel in the Mediterranean, which further escalated the already high tensions.

Last month, France decided to send two Rafale fighter jets and a naval frigate Lafayette to the eastern Mediterranean region.

In July, India received five Rafale aircraft at the Ambala Air Force Station (AFS) as part of a larger order of 36 jets.