He said: ‘Nato mustn’t think the Mediterranean is just about immigration. It is the spread along the North African seaboard, it is the Daesh entry into Libya, it is the Daesh control of Sirte and other places, which has an uncomfortable shadow over maritime trade and maritime access.’
Conflict and revolt across the region had made it more difficult for Nato countries, including Britain, to ‘ascertain what threats are there’, he said.
He added: ‘At the same time, we are tracking the spreads of really quite capable Korean, Chinese and Russian hardware, into bodies such as Hamas and Hezbollah and other places.’
While they were not targeted at Nato or commercial shipping at the moment, he said: ‘There is a horrible opportunity in the future that a misdirected, untargeted round of a very high quality weapons system will just happen to target a cruise liner, or an oil platform, or a container ship.’
He said: ‘The eastern Mediterranean has started to become a competed space.
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