Special forces from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Greece, and Cyprus launched joint military exercises on Sunday, according to a statement by the Egyptian military.
The US, Jordan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Bahrain are also participating in the Hercules-2022 drills as observers, added the statement.
The training is being held at Mohamed Naguib military base and other training areas in the Northern Military zone and will last several days.
The first phase of the drills includes procedures for the integration and familiarization of the participating forces to unify concepts. It also includes an exhibition of weapons and equipment used in the training as well as lectures on cybersecurity and other issues.
The drills “come as a continuation of the development and boosting of military relations between Egypt and brotherly and friendly countries”, the statement reads.
The previous edition of the drills was held in Greece last year with the participation of forces from Egypt and the UAE.
The drills come as relations between Greece and Turkey are tense. Ankara has yet to comment on the exercises.
Turkey and Greece have been at loggerheads for years over hydrocarbon resources and naval influence in the eastern Mediterranean.
Relations between Turkey and Egypt were also tense, but Ankara decided in April to appoint a new ambassador to Cairo after almost nine years of deterioration of diplomatic ties and regional rivalry.
The presidents of the two countries have been sparring since the Egyptian military’s 2013 ouster of democratically-elected President Mohamed Morsi in Cairo.
Following the military coup, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan refused to accept President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi as the legitimate president of the North African nation.
Sisi is also opposed to Turkey’s claims in the eastern Mediterranean.
Tensions further escalated between them when the conflict began in Libya, with Cairo and Ankara backing rival sides.