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The U.S.-Greece plan to Co-Produce Next-Gen Constellation Frigates

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During the fifth Strategic Dialogue between the United States and Greece, both nations emphasized the importance of deepening bilateral strategic defense cooperation. A key focus of the discussions was on the mutual benefits of co-designing and co-producing Constellation class frigates. This collaboration is anticipated to not only benefit Greece’s shipyards through economic gains but also foster cooperation between the defense innovation ecosystems of both countries.

This initiative is part of a broader commitment to security, sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity, which includes Greece’s military modernization efforts and ongoing cooperation on defense procurements such as F35s, C-130H aircraft, and Littoral Combat Ships. The dialogue underscored the strategic significance of these efforts in bolstering defense capabilities and enhancing the bilateral and transatlantic relationship founded on shared democratic values and interests.

Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ announcement:

“The text of the following statement was released by the Governments of the United States of America and Greece on the occasion of the fifth Strategic Dialogue.

The Strategic Dialogue serves to accelerate the deepening collaboration between the United States and Greece. Both countries utilized this fifth meeting of the Strategic Dialogue to underscore a growing bilateral and transatlantic relationship founded on shared democratic values and interests.  On February 9, 2024, U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs George Gerapetritis held discussions that featured high-level interagency representation from both countries.

At this year’s dialogue, Greece signed onto the Artemis Accords, becoming the 35th country to do so. Under the Artemis Accords principles, the United States and Greece affirm their shared commitment to a common vision for peaceful, sustainable, and transparent cooperation in space. Foreign Minister Gerapetritis signed the Accords on behalf of Greece. Greece and the United States reaffirm their will to continue and enhance cooperation in the following areas:

Regional Issues

The United States and Greece renewed their commitment to promoting stability, peace, and prosperity in Europe and the region, particularly in the wake of the October 7 attack on Israel, violent actions by the Houthis that threaten shipping and navigational rights and freedoms in the Red Sea, and Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine. Both governments reaffirmed their shared values and commitment to democracy and the need to resolve disputes diplomatically, respect sovereignty, and abide by international law, including the law of the sea. The United States welcomed ongoing engagement between Greece and Türkiye, including the Fifth High-Level Cooperation Council on December 7, 2023, in Athens and the signing of a Greece-Türkiye Declaration on Friendly Relations and Good Neighborliness.

The United States and Greece intend to continue promoting regional integration, rule of law, good neighborly relations, stability and security in the Western Balkans and Eastern Mediterranean region, and cooperation through the 3+1 format (Greece, Cyprus, Israel, plus the United States). In light of regional developments, deepening cooperation of the 3+1 and linking it to other regional cooperation initiatives, will promote economic growth, sustainable development, and stability in the region. The United States expressed appreciation for Greece’s humanitarian aid to Gaza; strong support of Israel; participation in Operation Prosperity Guardian, and commended Greece for its leading role in the new EU maritime operation EUNAVFOR Aspides.  The two governments discussed the importance of support for Ukraine, emphasizing their unwavering commitment to and respect for the fundamental principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries.  The two countries noted Greece’s candidacy for the United Nations Security Council 2025/26 and planned on further enhancement of the already excellent cooperation in the UN.

Defense and Security

The U.S.-Greece Pact to Co-Design Next-Gen Constellation Frigates
Photo by US DoD

Both countries reaffirmed the significance of expanding and deepening bilateral strategic defense cooperation.  They reiterated their firm determination mutually to safeguard and protect the security, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of their respective countries.  They also stressed their commitment to enhancing security cooperation through Greece’s military modernization efforts and looked forward to continued cooperation on the procurement of defense articles, such as the F35s and, as EDA grant transfers, C-130H aircraft and Littoral Combat Ships.  The United States and Greece discussed possible mutual benefits of co-designing and co-producing Constellation class frigates, including the economic benefits for Greece’s shipyards and the cooperation between the defense innovation ecosystems of the two countries.  The United States commended Greece for exceeding its Wales Summit pledge by spending over 3.5 percent of its GDP on defense with over 45 percent of this used for major equipment purchases and modernization.  The United States noted the continuing success of the Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement (MDCA), which increases NATO’s ability to protect its southeastern flank and provides strategically important access, basing, and overflight for U.S. forces.  In this context, they welcomed the infrastructure improvement projects in Souda, Larissa, Alexandroupoli, and other locations.  Greece and the United States noted the growing number of U.S. forces working in solidarity with the Greek armed forces through combined multilateral training and exercises in support of the NATO Alliance.  The United States and Greece underscored the strategic importance of the Port of Alexandroupoli as a vital logistics, energy, and supplies chain hub.  

Humanitarian Challenges and Disaster Preparedness

The United States and Greece discussed emergency planning and wildfire readiness, including Greek contributions to the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.  The United States welcomed Hellenic Fire Corps involvement in a U.S. study tour and expressed interest in updating disaster response cooperation.  Both underscored the need to find sustainable solutions to tackle to migration and refugee flows affecting both Europe and the United States.  The United States highlighted its Safe Mobility Initiative with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to establish access to services based on specific humanitarian and protection needs.  Greece also emphasized the importance of offering more legal migration pathways, outlining relevant bilateral agreements.  Greece underscored the challenges that frontline countries in the Mediterranean face when receiving large numbers of migrants and asylum seekers while ensuring effective protection of the EU external borders.   

Energy and Environment

Both countries stressed continued cooperation on energy security, emphasizing the shared goal of greater regional interconnectivity to diversify routes and types of energy, including renewable energy where Greece has emerged as a European leader.  Collaborating on Greece’s renewable energy infrastructure development is a shared priority to bolster Greece’s future as a renewable energy exporter, including through the Green Aegean initiative.  Furthermore, the United States supports Greece’s efforts to advance electricity interconnection projects in the Eastern Mediterranean, thus contributing to European energy security and the promotion of clean energy.  The United States welcomes the accession of Greece to the Three Seas Initiative, as an important step towards enhancing the North-to-South Corridor, fostering regional energy cooperation.  The United States commended Greece’s leadership and preparation as host of the 9th Our Ocean Conference in April 2024 and reiterated the U.S. commitment to support of Greece’s planning efforts and host priorities, including green shipping.  The two countries emphasized the importance of integrating youth in climate change mitigation and resilience, including through a U.S. Embassy Athens-funded youth corps exchange program linking the California Conservation Corps with Greek non-governmental organization Ecogenia.   

Law Enforcement and Counterterrorism


The United States and Greece discussed ongoing law enforcement cooperation, with both committing to mutual legal assistance, extraditions, joint training, and subject matter exchanges to combat complex challenges, and reviewed successes in those areas.  The United States commended Greece’s role as the regional leader in strategically advancing aviation security through development of Passenger Information Units in several Western Balkan countries.  The discussion further underscored Greece’s successful efforts to counter new and emerging threats such as cybersecurity and threats to critical infrastructure, money laundering, and terrorism through issuance of new biometric IDs and passports, both countries affirmed their commitment to countering trafficking in persons, strengthening cybersecurity, advancing regional aviation security and information sharing within the Western Balkans, and cooperating through the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.

Trade and Investment

The United States and Greece celebrated a robust year of trade and investment, emphasizing the U.S. – EU Trade and Technology Council’s progress.  They discussed the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation’s (DFC) $125 million loan to ONEX Elefsis Shipyards, the first such agreement in Greece.  Both nations acknowledged Greece’s economic progress and ongoing efforts to institutionalize a foreign direct investment screening mechanism designed to protect Greek national security and as an entry way into Europe.  Greece commended U.S.-supported workplace integration efforts, including a Women in Tech Network in Thessaloniki to support and empower women working and studying in technology fields, conduct recruitment and outreach, and advocate for policy change at the local and national levels.  The United States congratulated Greece on its record-breaking number of tourists, especially from the United States, in 2023 and recognized the importance of this key sector of the economy for continued economic growth and employment.  Greece underlined the importance of ensuring high levels of air connectivity to maintain and enhance bilateral tourism flows.      

People-to-People Ties

The United States and Greece reaffirmed the deep and enduring ties between the people of both nations and our shared commitment to democracy, innovation and expanding educational opportunities for all people, regardless of background or ability.  Both recognized the important role of education and culture as drivers of economic growth and underscored the need for upholding academic openness and transparency in international higher education and research cooperation.  The United States and Greece reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen their cooperation in the field of education, including by offering more opportunities for exchange of American and Greek students.  The two countries re-affirmed their commitment to promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in educational and cultural collaboration and highlighted opportunities to share best practices in inclusive education, including special needs education, universal design for learning and teaching, and early intervention.  The United States and Greece welcomed the enhanced bilateral cooperation in returning to Greece illegally obtained artifacts.  Both countries agreed to examine ways of further raising awareness against antisemitism and racism.  They reaffirmed their commitment to Holocaust education, to include the establishment of a Holocaust Museum and Memorial Park in Thessaloniki, and to their shared oversight of the Arolsen Archives on Nazi Persecutions as partners on the International Commission, which Greece will chair in 2024.  The United States and Greece discussed opportunities for partnering to protect cultural heritage from the effects of climate change.  The United States welcomed Prime Minister Mitsotakis’s pledges to legislate equality in marriage and continuing to implement the National Action Plan to expand protections for LGBTQI+ persons in Greece”.

Egypt Bolsters Border Security Amid Israel-Gaza Escalation

Egypt swiftly responded to Israel’s plan to attack the border city of Rafah in the Gaza Strip by bolstering its border security, deploying around 45 battle tanks and armored personnel carriers in northeastern Sinai over the past fortnight. This move aims to preempt potential crises in the region, particularly in light of Israeli military strikes around Rafah in Gaza, where many Palestinians have sought refuge.

Not only has the Egyptian government increased its military presence, but it has also taken significant measures to fortify the border infrastructure with Gaza. Recently, an additional six-meter-high cement wall, reinforced with wire mesh, was constructed as part of these enhancements, alongside the construction of guard towers to bolster surveillance at key border points. These steps serve as a direct response to the dire situation in Gaza and seek to prevent any forced Palestinian exodus into Egyptian territory.

These Egyptian actions come after the IDF’s official preparation for a ground assault against the last major city under Hamas control, Rafah, following Netanyahu’s directive, with prior arrangements to relocate civilians to safe areas within the Gaza Strip.

Egypt has repeatedly expressed its dismay at these developments, warning that it will not accept any Palestinians on its soil. Egypt’s official rationale is that this would lead to a massive permanent displacement of Palestinians from Gaza, and the relocation of any Hamas members to Sinai would jeopardize peace between Egypt and Israel.

Joe Biden opposes Israel’s actions in Gaza and called Egypt’s President Mexican

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The President of the United States, Joe Biden, condemned Israel’s military operations in Gaza, describing them as “excessive.” Biden’s comments were made during a press conference, where he expressed his disappointment over Netanyahu’s refusal of a proposed ceasefire aimed at facilitating the release of Israeli hostages held by Hamas and the release of Palestinian prisoners.

Biden emphasized his commitment to securing a temporary halt to hostilities, revealing his efforts to negotiate access for humanitarian aid to Gaza. Despite mistakenly referring to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi as the President of Mexico, Biden highlighted the successful discussions that led to the opening of border gates to allow humanitarian aid in.

Specifically, he stated that in his talks, he convinced el-Sissi to open the gates, and then did the same with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. His remarks were part of a broader statement concerning a report by the U.S. special prosecutor on the handling of classified information, amid voter concerns about his mental capacity.

The U.S. President’s firm stance against the escalation of Israel’s military actions in Gaza, especially towards the city of Raffah, is expected to cause friction in U.S.-Israel relations, particularly after his characterization of the operations. Egypt officially responded by stating that it never closed its gates, despite Biden’s claims.

Israel-Hezbollah: IDF Prepares for expansion of the war

In a concerted effort to address escalating security concerns along the Lebanon border, Maj.-Gen. Ori Gordin, head of the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) Northern Command, convened a crucial meeting with mayors and council heads from the evacuated communities in the region, the IDF reports in a recent statement.

Gordin emphasized the military’s unwavering commitment to restoring peace and security to the affected areas, affirming, “Our goal is to change the security situation in the north in a way that will allow the residents to return safely and with a sense of security.” He further underscored the IDF’s proactive stance in preparing for any potential escalation saying IDF is continuing “to prepare for the expansion of the war and going on the offensive” against the Iran-backed Hezbollah terror group.

Over the past several weeks, the Lebanon-based Hezbollah has intensified its hostile activities, launching a relentless barrage of rockets, missiles, and drones targeting Israel’s northern communities on an almost daily basis. This unrelenting aggression has forced approximately 80,000 Israelis into internal displacement.

In addressing the assembled council heads, Gordin reiterated the IDF’s steadfast determination to degrade Hezbollah’s capabilities and neutralize its threat. “The residents of the north are our strength to continue, they are the backbone that enables the achievements we have reached in the north so far,” he concluded.

U.S. forces neutralized new Houthi threats in Red Sea

U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) forces carried out a series of self-defense strikes on February 8th, targeting Houthi forces’ unmanned surface vessels (USVs) and anti-ship cruise missiles. From the early hours of 5 a.m. to the evening at 9 p.m. (Sanaa time), CENTCOM successfully neutralized four USVs and seven mobile anti-ship cruise missiles that were poised for launch in the Red Sea.

CENTCOM’s Official Statement:

“On Feb. 8, between the hours of 5 a.m. – 9 p.m. (Sanaa time), U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) forces conducted seven self-defense strikes against four Houthi unmanned surface vessels (USV) and seven mobile anti-ship cruise missiles that were prepared to launch against ships in the Red Sea.

CENTCOM identified these missiles and USVs in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen and determined they presented an imminent threat to U.S. Navy ships and merchant vessels in the region. These actions will protect freedom of navigation and make international waters safer and more secure for U.S. Navy and merchant vessels”.

Tucker Carlson States Aim to Provide Diverse Insights to the American Public with Exclusive Interview of Putin

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Washington, D.C. – Tucker Carlson, the former Fox News host, conducted an interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin, marking a rare occasion where a Western journalist has engaged directly with the Kremlin leader amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The interview, which aired on Thursday on Carlson’s personal website, has drawn significant attention for offering insight into Putin’s views at a critical juncture of the war.

Carlson, justified his decision to do this interview by emphasizing the American public’s right to access diverse viewpoints on issues of international importance, especially those involving the United States. The interview’s broadcast has ignited discussions on the role of media in wartime and the importance of journalistic diversity in shaping public perception.

This event comes against the backdrop of a statement from Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar, who critically remarked that any interview with Putin should be held at The Hague, in reference to the International Criminal Court’s accusations against the Russian president.

Carlson’s decision to undertake this interview and self-fund his trip to Moscow has been met with a mix of interest and criticism. Critiques and defenses of Carlson’s interview underscore the broader debate over media bias, the responsibility of journalists to maintain objectivity, and the role of the media in shaping public understanding of international conflicts.

EU clarifies stance amid speculation over sanctions against Tucker Carlson following Putin interview

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Brussels, Belgium – The European Union has recently clarified its stance regarding rumors of sanctions against the former Fox News host Tucker Carlson for his interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Contrary to speculation fueled by comments from high-profile figures like Elon Musk, the EU has officially stated that there are no ongoing discussions about imposing sanctions on Carlson. This clarification came directly from Peter Stano, the spokesperson for EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, emphasizing the EU’s procedural confidentiality and the absence of any current talks targeting the broadcaster within EU bodies.

The speculation had gained traction earlier when Guy Verhofstadt, a member of the European Parliament and former Prime Minister of Belgium, suggested exploring a travel ban against Carlson for allegedly aiding Putin’s disinformation campaign. This statement led to widespread conjecture about potential EU actions against Carlson.

Addressing the EU’s sanctioning process, Stano highlighted the rigorous and unanimous agreement required from all 27 member states to add individuals or entities to the sanctions list. He pointed out the EU’s history of sanctioning around 2,000 people and entities, including Russian media outlets like RT and Sputnik, for their role in supporting Russia’s military aggression through disinformation campaigns.

The backdrop to this controversy is Carlson’s position as the first Western journalist to interview Putin since the Ukrainian conflict began, marking a significant moment in media. Carlson had earlier said on X he wanted to do this interview because “Americans have a right to know all they can about a war they are implicated in”.

Egypt Warns Israel Against Occupation of Philadelphi Corridor, Denies Arms Smuggling Claims

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Cairo, Egypt – Diaa Rashwan, head of the Egyptian Intelligence Service, categorically denied Israel’s claims of arms smuggling through the Gaza-Egypt borders in a statement, and warned Israel about the potential occupation of the Philadelphi Corridor. As we have already informed you, Israel intends to effectively control this area to oversee the borders as it did before its withdrawal in 2005.

Rashwan refuted the accusations of Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, regarding the illegal transfer of weapons to the Gaza Strip from Egyptian territory.

Emphasizing the need to respect previously signed security agreements and protocols, Rashwan warned that any Israeli action aimed at controlling this corridor could exacerbate regional tensions and further threaten the stability of the area, as this narrow 14-kilometer strip has historically been a flashpoint.

His assertion that Egypt will not succumb to what he describes as the schemes of “extremist Israeli leaders” reflects Egypt’s irritation with this specific issue, which according to such statements, could potentially reshape the dynamics of Egyptian-Israeli relations.

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) are expected to soon attempt to control this corridor as they expand their military operations against Hamas in Rafah.

IDF Encircles Khan Younis in Major Military Operation in Gaza; 21 Israeli Soldiers Perish in Hamas Attack

Twenty-one Israeli soldiers lost their lives on Monday in a catastrophic explosion during a Hamas attack that led to the collapse of two buildings, trapping soldiers inside. The Israeli army confirmed the news on Tuesday morning. Meanwhile, in a significant development for Israel’s operations, the IDF completed the encirclement of the city of Khan Younis in Southern Gaza.

The buildings in question were in the process of being demolished by the IDF when Palestinian militants launched an RPG attack on a tank responsible for the security of the forces. The initial RPG attack was followed by a second explosion inside the buildings, likely caused by another RPG strike, resulting in their collapse. Additionally, there are speculations that the second explosion might be linked to mines placed by troops for demolition.

In a press conference held on Tuesday morning, Israeli Defense Forces spokesperson Daniel Haggari provided details about the tragic incident. He revealed that the troops were operating in an area near the southern borders of Gaza with Israel, with a mission to destroy Hamas facilities.

Furthermore, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) reported that they completed the encirclement of Khan Younis in southern Gaza, leading to significant losses for Hamas during their ground assault, as we’ve informed you. The IDF’s 98th Division, along with the 7th Armored Brigade and Givati Brigade, led an attack in western Khan Younis. The division’s Commando Brigade conducted operations deeper in the area, where battles and airstrikes against Hamas took place.

The battles that unfolded in Khan Younis are reported to be the fiercest that have occurred in the area so far. Additionally, tunnels, rockets, and other weapons were discovered in Khan Younis. The reserves of the Israeli Army from the Southern Brigade of the Gaza Division completed their operations on the outskirts of the city, focusing on destroying Hamas’s tunnels and infrastructure.

Over 100 Hamas Members Eliminated in Khan Yunis, Israel Reports + VIDEO


Khan Yunis, Gaza Strip – The spokesperson for the Israeli Army, in a briefing a few hours ago, stated that today over 100 Hamas members were successfully eliminated in the area of Western Khan Yunis. The Army Spokesperson, Daniel Hagari, confirmed the high number of Hamas casualties, essentially presenting Israel’s response to Hamas following an attack that resulted in the death of 21 IDF soldiers.

“Our forces are fighting bravely, using various methods… and with close air support as well as intelligence support,” said Hagari, emphasizing the tactics employed by the IDF. He also highlighted the complex and densely populated landscape of Western Khan Yunis, describing it as a significant stronghold of Hamas, which the Hamas forces use to launch attacks against the Israeli Army troops.

This announcement follows an incident that proved to be the deadliest single event for the IDF amid the ground operation, with 21 Israeli soldiers losing their lives. “The ground troops continue their mission with determination,” Hagari said.

In the press briefing, he spoke of at least 100 casualties for Hamas today alone on the Khan Yunis front and that a primary objective is the elimination of “small Hamas pockets” at the Gaza-Israel border that threaten the border areas.