Greece Plans to Expand Defence Agreement With US or Sign New One, Foreign Minister Says
03:47 GMT 26.10.2020
ATHENS (Sputnik) - Greece is planning to expand the current defence cooperation agreement with the United States or sign a new one, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias told the parliament on Sunday.
In October 2019, the two countries signed a new Mutual Defence Cooperation Agreement (MDCA). It envisaged the expansion of the US naval base at Souda Bay on Crete and allowed the US to use the Greek airbases of Stefanovikeio and Larissa as well as the port of Alexandroupoli.
"We will almost immediately begin a dialogue on the expansion of the MDCA or signing a new agreement," Dendias said.
The foreign minister stressed that the US-Greek relations had reached an unprecedented level.
"Concerning the US … I think that the strengthening [of relations] with Greece is evident for all of you. I have met with [US Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo six times and once via videoconference. I do not think that it had happened in the Greek history before," the minister added.
The US-Greek defence cooperation is increasing amid the escalation in historically-strained relations between Greece and Turkey that emerged after Ankara announced the start of seismic research activities in the area, a mere 7.5 miles from the Greek island of Kastellorizo, that Athens says belongs to its continental shelf.
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