Americas, Europe

Mutual defense pact with US tool for Athens to feel safer, says top Greek diplomat

Athens wants military presence of US in Greece, says Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias

Derya Gulnaz Ozcan   | 10.05.2022
Mutual defense pact with US tool for Athens to feel safer, says top Greek diplomat

ATHENS

A new defense cooperation pact between the US and Greece is a tool for Athens to feel safer, said Greece’s foreign minister on Tuesday.

Speaking to the Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee of Greece’s parliament, Nikos Dendias said: "The Greece-US Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement is a tool to feel safe so that we can broaden our horizons, expand our perception of things, and not return to phobic syndromes which weaken us instead of empowering us."

He added: "We believe in the need for opening up to the Balkans not to be a prisoner of Greek-Turkish disputes."

Touching on the Port of Alexandroupolis in northern Greece, Dendias argued that it is important for Greece to turn the port into an energy crossroad for the Balkans.

"We want the military presence of the US. Yes, we do not want the Alexandroupolis Port to be commercial, and that is exactly what bothered (Turkish President Recep) Tayyip Erdogan," he claimed.

Last October, Greece and the US signed an extension of their bilateral Mutual Defense and Cooperation Agreement in Washington.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the renewal will allow the agreement to "indefinitely" remain in force and enables US forces to train and operate from additional locations in Greece amid "urgent challenges that are facing both of our countries."

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