Panagiotopoulos: Greece-US Mutual Defense Agreement beneficial for our country

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“It is particularly beneficial for our country Greece-US Mutual Defense Agreement and will act as a deterrent for someone thinking of harming Greek interests. Because, the enhanced presence of the American forces, together with the investments in infrastructures that will be made in selected and clearly demarcated locations, are for the benefit of the Greek interests, since whoever harms the American interests, at the same time, will also harm the Greek , with all that entails “.

This was underlined by the Minister of National Defense, Nikos Panagiotopoulos, during the discussion in the competent committee of the Parliament for the ratification of the second protocol for the amendment of the Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement between Greece and the USA.

At the same time, he rejected the opposition’s objections to an unequal agreement that only safeguards American interests against Greece, stressing that “it is more or less normal, to some extent, to have a different view, but in the difficult days we are going through in terms of geopolitical ignition, there must be this kind of categorical opposition. “

“This is the tangible proof of the upgrade of the strategic relationship between Greece and the United States of America. Some say we do not exercise rights. Wait a few days. A big object has already been developed in the field of defense cooperation between Greece and the USA and do not put this issue in terms of an oriental bazaar, because you do not get more, since you give them all this. All this in due course. “We are already working on upgrading a network of infrastructure,” said Mr. Panagiotopoulos.

The Minister of Defense expressed his intense annoyance for the disgust of the SYRIZA rapporteur George Katrougalos, who said “do something for Greece as well”.

“I can not accept this ‘do something for Greece too’. For the past three years we have done a lot for Greece and absolutely demonstrable in the field of the country’s defense shield, either in terms of building and upgrading the strengthening of defense alliances, or in terms of purely armaments, without meaning that we are done , that there is nothing else to be done. Much remains to be done. But we continue and I think it is easy to prove that things were done for Greece “, said Mr. Panagiotopoulos and added:

“The second amendment to the agreement on mutual defense cooperation between Greece and the United States of America is nationally beneficial. The strongest proof of the benefit for the national interest is the intense annoyance that Turkey has repeatedly expressed. Which is clearly bothered by the upgrading of the Greece-US partnership and the upgrading of the capabilities of the port of Alexandroupolis, but also by the invitation and the speech that the Greek Prime Minister will address to the Congress in a few days.

And this is a special honor that has not been reserved so far to any Greek prime minister and of course it will have a serious symbolic character. “If this is not another tangible proof of the qualitatively upgraded strategic relationship between Greece and the USA, but on the contrary it is a national defeat, as you more or less present it in terms of retreat, this is your view”.

“Many years have passed since 1990 when the first Greek-American defense agreement was signed and since then many things have changed. “The world has changed very dramatically since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the overall perspective on the security architecture of Europe and the wider region has changed,” he said.

As Mr. Panagiotopoulos stressed, “the main changes in the agreement are the addition of new areas of common interest with the US, namely the Larissa air base, the Army Air Base in Stefanofikeio and the port of Alexandroupolis and the area of ​​Souda where within these infrastructures “can live and operate parts of the US military.”

“Their inclusion in the Annex of the Agreement creates the conditions, due to its duration, for easier and greater funding in those camps that need infrastructure, infrastructure upgrade. When the American side knows that it has 5 years ahead of it, then it intends and finally decides to invest more money to upgrade the ones it will use. “At the end of the day, these infrastructures will remain for the benefit of the Greek Armed Forces”, he underlined.

He emphasized the upgrade of the port of Alexandroupolis, talking about cosmogony taking place in the area.

“It would be really useful to visit Alexandroupolis, to see the cosmogony that is taking place there. From the port of Alexandroupolis, which until then, with the dredger submerged, could not receive even a fishing boat, today welcomes beasts. And the local community rejoices and does not feel more insecure, but more secure, not to mention the wider benefit to the local economy, to the regional economy. “Alexandroupolis is becoming the center of attention from the end and more will follow”.

Commenting on the report of SYRIZA MP Dimitris Vitsas that Alexandroupolis became a target of Turkey, Mr. Panagiotopoulos countered that “in the context of our differences with Turkey, it is a target that would create much more second thoughts in someone who, he would probably wonder if he should move on. “

At the same time, he rejected accusations that the agreement no longer shields our country against the aggression of Turkey.

“Do not add your own dissatisfaction with those who have already expressed their dissatisfaction with Alexandroupolis. The world has changed very dramatically lately. “I think it’s time to mitigate this ‘together and apart’ a bit, because it will not lead us anywhere better, even if it looks like data behavior,” he said.

“It is not bad to be given, predictable, but also reliable. And if the Americans judge something and not only, that it is an advantage for Greece at this time and against the most unstable, due to the specific behaviors of the Turks, is that our country can be considered the reliable, consistent, the right partner in area. We must take advantage of this. And the fruit, if you will, of this new, renewed perception of the United States, regarding Greece, is also this Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement “, Mr. Panagiotopoulos underlined and concluded:

All this is not an “oriental bazaar”, we give you these, give us the hi, psi, omega weapons. It’s not like this. The strategic relationship is being upgraded as a whole. This translates into the consolidation of a new, tighter common strategic culture, which goes through the now very intensive co-education programs and with the defense and American forces, not only in the context of NATO exercises. And of course, the society of interest, which is the development of joint infrastructures for the benefit of both parties, which are made and remain in Greece “.

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