As Athens faces tensions with neighboring Turkey, the United States and Greece concluded an agreement on Thursday to expand the structures of a bilateral cooperation agreement. in defense matter, giving American forces greater use of Greek military bases.
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias confirmed that the new agreement between the US and Greece, signed in Washington by US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, will allow US forces to train and operate with “expanded capability” in four additional bases in Greece.
“This is not an agreement … against anyone else,” added the Greek foreign minister in an interview with the Associated Press after the signing ceremony, although he noted that the new agreement places a US military presence within miles (kilometers) of Turkey.
He also explained that “it is an agreement between Greece and the United States of America, and the purpose of the agreement is the stability and prosperity of our two countries”.
Automatic renewal of the contract
At Thursday’s signing ceremony, Blinken described the United States and Greece as “proud and strong NATO allies, both deeply committed to our alliance”.
Greek officials also said Thursday’s deal, based on an existing one, will last five years with automatic renewal.
Interestingly, Greece focuses much of its defense strategy on close military cooperation with France and the US, while it is still stalled. in a volatile dispute with Turkey over the borders of its sea and air space.
Greek officials also actively sought other international agreements with partners in Middle East, Europe and other regions.
The dispute between Greece and Turkey, two NATO members, focusing on maritime borders and drilling rights in the eastern Mediterranean, prompted Athens to launch a major spending program to modernize its armed forces.
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