Athens renews military deal expanding US presence in Greece
Iran Press TV
Thursday, 12 May 2022 9:50 PM
The Greek parliament has renewed and updated the country's so-called "defense deal" with the United States, notably expanding Washington's access to military zones across Greece.
The legislative body approved the new version of the US-Greece Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement (MDCA), which was first signed in 1990, on Thursday.
Leftist protesters marched in central Athens against the ratification of the pact that allows the presence of US forces "in four more military areas, including two army camps in central and northern Greece and a naval base on the island of Crete," Reuters reported.
Meanwhile, leftist former prime minister Alexis Tsipras said the agreement "turns our country into a [US] satellite...not an ally."
Greek Premier Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who is expected to meet with US President Joe Biden in Washington on Monday and address the US Congress on the following day, dismissed this as "nonsense."
"The text [of the agreement] we are called to ratify...depicts a new reality," Mitsotakis said.
'US's main partner in region'
"The US is extending its presence in the Eastern Mediterranean...and our country becomes in the clearest way the main partner and interlocutor of the United States in the region," he added.
Greek officials have said the agreement will be updated every five years.
The previous version of the deal that was agreed in 2019, had already granted the United States "unimpeded access and use" within 48 hours at Alexandroupolis, a Balkans and Black Sea gateway of strategic value to the US Navy and the Western military alliance of NATO.
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