The US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin had a meeting today at the US Pentagon with the Greek Minister of Defence Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos who is continuing the greek mission to the US after the completion of the visit of the Greek Chief of the National Defence General Staff.
The two Defense Secretaries, according to the US Pentagon statement, “discussed the growing partnership between the United States and Greece and the close cooperation between the two countries on the base, defense modernization and collective defense, particularly in the face of Russia’s aggression to Ukraine.
“The defense relationship between the United States and Greece has never been stronger,” Austin said. “The updated US-Greece Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement reflects our nations’ unwavering commitment to shared peace and security. And it allowed the expansion of US forces in Greece to support US and NATO objectives of strategic access to the region.”
“Two examples of this cooperation,” Austin said, “include the continued hosting of U.S. naval forces in Souda Bay and priority access to U.S. military forces at the port of Alexandroupolis in northeastern Greece, just 60 miles north of the Dardanelles Strait in Turkey.
Access to the port allows quick access to the Sea of Marmara and then through the Bosphorus to the Black Sea.
This access allows us to continue to provide military assistance to Ukraine, to counter malicious actors, and to exercise and operate in the Balkans and the eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea region,” Austin said.
Nikos Panagiotopoulos thanked Austin for his leadership of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, which was set up in April, and said Greece remains committed to providing continued support to Ukraine.
“Greece’s response to the unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine was indeed swift and decisive,” Panagiotopoulos said.
“We offered all the help we could to Ukraine, a country that is being attacked in violation of every rule of international law. We apply these penalties imposed on the attacker. Despite their cost to us, we are willing to consider any other action, any other kind of assistance.”
Panagiotopoulos said that part of the world is now facing various forms of revisionism that pose a threat to all nations.
“Greece is a key hub for supporting and … projecting the allied presence in a region facing various forms of revisionism,” Panagiotopoulos said.
“Revisionism, whether it takes the form of challenging basic rules governing the international legal order, or expresses itself as seeking to change internationally recognized borders—or both, as is often the case—constitutes a major threat to the interests of Greece, the interests of the United States and the North Atlantic Alliance in general. Revisionism of any form is against stability … revisionism must not prevail,” he added, according to the US Pentagon statement.
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