Thursday, June 20 2024

Greek-US defense deal aims at boosting ‘qualitative advantage,’ says PM

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Greece is seeking to acquire a “qualitative advantage” over Turkey that will bolster its deterrence capabilities and equip its Armed Forces to deal with modern challenges, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told Skai radio on Tuesday, speaking about an ongoing defense agreement with the United States.

 

The deal, he said, will “enhance the Armed Forces” and points to the fact that “the US sees Greece’s role as a stabilizing factor.”

“Greece is being rewarded,” Mitsotakis said, adding that the ongoing talks with Washington confirm the good relations between the two countries and the success of Greek foreign policy.

The Greek prime minister stressed that the acquisition of advanced F-35 fighter jets from the US is just one part of the agreement, which will also include upgrade kits for modernizing other parts of Greece’s defense system, steps to bolster the local defense industry and a gift of various defense equipment.

 

Commenting on the cost of the deal, which, he noted, has not been finalized, Mitsotakis stressed that “Greece always has an obligation to spend more on its defense because of its position than other countries.”

He also said that maintaining the recent normalization of ties between Greece and Turkey is “essential,” while conceding that the process cannot be expected to be without turbulence.

“Anyone who believes that Greek-Turkish rapprochement will progress without disruptions, I would say is out of touch with reality and time,” he said, while highlighting the need “to build on the significant progress we have achieved.”