Under the expanded agreement, US forces will have access to four additional bases in Greece.
Under a new expansion of a defense cooperation deal agreed Thursday by the two countries, US forces would have access to four additional military locations in Greece.
The agreement was signed in Washington by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias as Greece dealt with tensions with its neighbor, Turkey.
The extra Greek locations will allow US forces to train and operate “in an enhanced capacity,” according to Dendias. After the signing ceremony, Obama told the Associated Press that the pact was not “against anyone else,” despite the fact that it would put US troops just kilometers from Turkey.
“It’s a deal between Greece and the United States of America, and the goal is for both of our countries to be stable and prosperous,” Dendias explained.
See the list below for more Associated Press reporting.
As it remains embroiled in a tense conflict with Turkey over sea and airspace boundaries, Greece is resting much of its defense strategy on close military collaboration with France and the United States. Other international accords, with partners in the Middle East, Europe, and beyond, have also been actively pursued by Greek politicians.
At the signing ceremony on Thursday, Blinken described the US and Greece as “two proud, powerful NATO friends, both firmly dedicated to our alliance.” The new deal, which builds on an existing one, would last for five years and be automatically renewed, according to Greek officials.
NATO, the North Atlantic defensive bloc to which the United States, Turkey, France, and Greece all belong, is based on the concept of collective defense, therefore an attack on one of its members is not considered an attack at all.
Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary-General, appeared to criticize Greece’s freshly approved mutual defense agreement with France earlier this month, without naming the two countries. “What I don’t believe in is attempts to do something outside of NATO’s structure, to compete with or duplicate NATO,” Stoltenberg stated at the time.
Dendias stated Greece’s mutual defense agreement with France “is a complementing agreement to NATO” while addressing at the house belonging to the Greek Embassy in Washington.
“It in no way diminishes NATO’s mission,” he stressed.
Greece and Turkey, both NATO members, are at odds over sea limits and mineral rights in the eastern Mediterranean, prompting Athens to begin a military operation. This is a condensed version of the information.