U.S., Greece renew defense cooperation agreement

Li Wei
2021-10-15 09:44:06

WASHINGTON, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) -- The United States and Greece on Thursday renewed a bilateral defense agreement to enhance their security cooperation.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and visiting Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias signed an amendment to the U.S.-Greece Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement (MDCA), which has allowed for U.S. forces to train and operate within Greek territory since 1990.

"This update will allow the agreement to remain in force indefinitely, and it enables U.S. forces in Greece to train and operate from additional locations," Blinken said during the signing ceremony alongside his Greek counterpart.

In a separate statement, Blinken said the effort would "allow for Greece and the United States to advance security and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean and beyond."

Dendias said at the signing ceremony that Greece is facing "daily provocation" in the Eastern Mediterranean, noting the revision of MDCA is "symbolically and substantially the foundation of our long-term partnership."

The deal came weeks after Greece signed a defense and security strategic partnership with France worth nearly 3 billion euros (about 3.5 billion U.S. dollars), including the Greek purchase of three French frigates.

Turkey condemned Greek's move and claimed it threatened the NATO alliance.

The tensions between Turkey and Greece escalated during 2020 over seismic surveys conducted by Turkish vessels in disputed waters, as well as the agreements for delimitation of maritime borders which Turkey and Greece have reached with other Mediterranean countries.

Meanwhile, the two neighbors have long been at odds over their territorial claims in the Aegean Sea.

The bilateral tensions have eased since early 2021, and they resumed political and military talks to tackle territorial disputes.



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