Greece ratifies new military deal with United States to expand cooperation

·

Greek lawmakers ratified an agreement with the United States on Thursday to significantly expand military cooperation as Greece faces escalating tensions with neighbouring Turkey.

Members of parliament voted 175-33 to ratify the Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement signed in October by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a visit to Athens.

The deal provides for increased joint U.S.-Greece and NATO activities at Greek military bases and facilities in Larissa, Stefanovikio, and Alexandroupolis, in central and northern Greece, as well as infrastructure and other improvements at the Souda Bay U.S. naval base on the island of Crete.

The U.S. Air Force is already operating MQ-9 Reaper drones out of Larissa airbase.

“This is for the mutual benefit of our defense and our economies,” conservative lawmaker Ioannis Lambropoulos said in parliament ahead of the vote. “At a time when we are receiving threats to our sovereignty, we are seeking the support of our allies.”

Supporters of the Greek Communist Party protest in central Athens against the Greek -US expanded defense agreement on Thursday, Jan. 30 , 2020. Greece’s parliament is set to ratify an agreement with the United States for a major expansion of military cooperation as it faces an escalation of tensions with neighboring Turkey.(AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

Greece is locked in a dispute with NATO ally Turkey over maritime boundaries and oil-and-gas drilling rights in the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as over war-torn Libya.

Emerging from a protracted financial crisis, Greece is planning multiple upgrades to its armed forces, concentrating on its air force and naval capabilities, largely with U.S. and French defense firms.

The government has expressed interest in purchasing MQ-9 Guardian drones and well as joining the F-35 fighter program at a later date. The plans were discussed at a White House visit earlier this month by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

Greece’s left-wing main opposition party said it favoured expanded defense cooperation with the United States but its lawmakers didn’t vote in favour of ratifying the deal, arguing that Athens should first seek a more comprehensive commitment of support from the United States against Turkey’s actions.

The Greek Communist Party organised protest rallies in the capital and cities across the country to oppose the deal, arguing that Greece would be “dragged into dangerous overseas adventures.” The protests ended peacefully.

Sourced by: AP News

Advertisement

Share:

KEEP UP TO DATE WITH TGH

By subscribing you accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Advertisement

Latest News

Mykonos shop owner reflects on Australia, Greece and crystals

Greek Australian, Apostolos Triantafyllou, 56, has been living in Mykonos for over 30 years now, and running his jewellery store 'Amethyst'.

Niki Louca shares her recipe for chicken pie with mushrooms

Niki Louca from My Greek Kitchen shares her favourite recipe for kotopita with manitaria (chicken pie with mushrooms) with The Greek Herald.

Dr Trakakis to give lecture in Melbourne on the late poet Tasos Leivaditis

Dr Nick Trakakis will give a seminar on Thursday, May 30 at the Greek Centre in Melbourne on the late poet Tasos Leivaditis.

Greek Australian artist VASSY receives Billions List award

Greek Australian-bred, singer, songwriter and dance music producer VASSY, has been honoured with the Billions List Award by APRA AMCOS.

Themis Chryssidis to reinvent his acclaimed Adelaide restaurant

Themis Chryssidis is transforming his acclaimed city restaurant, eleven, with a new menu and more affordable prices.

You May Also Like

Andriana Simos wins in two categories in the NSW Premier’s Multicultural Communications Awards

Among the winners in the 2021 NSW Multicultural Communications Awards was TGH's Andriana Simos who was named Young Journalist of the Year.

Victoria, NSW and SA deal with separate outbreaks and lockdowns as COVID cases grow

With New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia in the grips of separate COVID outbreaks, The Greek Herald has the latest information.

Greece drafts bill to protect Brits living in Greece amid Brexit deal

Greek Parliament drafted a bill, on Friday, that protects the residence status and rights of current and future British citizens residing in Greece, regardless...