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Hellenic Republic Ministry of National Defence

Defence Minister Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos and France's Defence Minister Florence Parly attend the signing of the agreement for the procurement of "RAFALE" fighter aircraft

Hellenic Republic Ministry of National Defence

25 Jan, 2021

On Monday, 25 January 2021, the Minister of National Defence Mr. Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos welcomed the French Minister of Defence, Ms. Florence Parly, to the Ministry of National Defence.

The welcoming was attended by the Deputy Minister of National Defence Mr. Alkiviadis Stefanis, the Secretary General of the Ministry Mr. Antonis Oikonomou, the Chief/HNDGS, General Konstantinos Floros, the Chief/HAFGS, Lieutenant General (HAF) Georgios Blioumis, the Chief/HAGS, Lieutenant General Charalampos Lalousis, and the Chief/HNGS Stylianos Petrakis (HN).

Mr. Panagiotopoulos and Ms. Parly had a private meeting, while delegations from Greece and France held bilateral talks at "Ioannis Kapodistrias" hall. Next, the two ministers attended the signing of the Agreement for the procurement of 18 "Rafale" fighter aircraft.

After the signing of the Agreement, the Minister of National Defence stated the following:

"Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today I had the honour and pleasure to welcome the Minister of Defence of the French Republic, Ms. Florence Parly, to the Ministry of National Defence, in the context of her official visit to Athens, on the occasion of the signing of contracts for 18 "Rafale" fighter aircraft.

The procurement of the French "Rafale" fighters is a landmark in our bilateral defence cooperation and, generally, in the relations between Greece and France. It will contribute to a further reinforcement of the fighting capability and the deterrence power of the Air Force and the Armed Forces, whose basic mission is to defend the territorial integrity and the sovereign rights of our country.

We are really proud because it is the first time so far that negotiations for such a complex and large armaments program were completed so fast and so methodically. The participants from both sides deserve congratulations.

By acquiring the "Rafale" fighters, the fire power of the Hellenic Air Force will be multiplied. The special features of the "Rafale", with the advanced electronic systems, along with their weapons of strategic nature, make them an important factor of air supremacy.

Furthermore, the choice to purchase the French "Rafale" fighters points out the strategic nature of the Greek-French relations and France's unreserved support to our country against challenges and threats. It verifies a long lasting tradition of excellent cooperation relations between our countries, both at bilateral level and in the context of regional and international organisations.

These relations are based on solidarity and on the powerful, ever lasting and sincere friendship of our countries and peoples, already since the period of the Greek Revolution of 1821 and the contribution of the French philhellenes and France, as a Great Power, to our national struggle for freedom.

With my counterpart Ms. Parly, we expressed our satisfaction with the high level of our bilateral defence relations, as well as our wider cooperations, which will be further expanded, both at tactical and strategic level.

Furthermore, we had the opportunity to exchange views about our cooperation in the context of the European Defence Initiatives and our participation in the "Permanent Structured Cooperation", known as PESCO, as well as about the implementation steps of the vision we share with France, for a Europe of Defence.

Finally, we discussed the security and stability challenges in the East Mediterranean and our common will to contribute to the security, stability and welfare in the wider region, having as foundation the respect of the International Law and the Principles of Good Neighbourliness.

Madam Minister,

Dear Florence,

Once again, I welcome you to Greece.

Thank you".

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