Greece 'strategic hub' for US, NATO military expansion in Europe: US
Blinken says Greece will also be a military hub for NATO allies to strengthen the coalition's eastern flank.
Greece has emerged as a "strategic hub" that serves to expand the US military's presence in the region and strengthen NATO's eastern flank, US State Secretary Antony Blinken said on Tuesday during a visit to Athens.
"One of the new sites supports military transport around the Port of Alexandroupoli, which has become, indeed, a key strategic hub, including bringing in defensive weaponry, trucks, artillery for U.S. military units that are operating in Eastern and Northern Europe, as well as NATO Allies," Blinken stated during a meeting with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias.
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The two senior officials met in the framework of the Fourth US-Greece Strategic Dialogue that "builds off of the last [Third US-Greece] Strategic Dialogue" held in 2021, Blinken noted.
The State Secretary announced that the US invested $123 million in Greece's Souda Bay naval base and the Larissa air base.
"This port [of Alexandroupoli] has been vital to reinforcing NATO’s eastern flank since President Putin launched his brutal war of aggression against Ukraine. The United States is grateful for Greece’s unwavering support for Ukraine since the invasion," Blinken added.
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Dendias, on his part, praised the relations between the two countries, which are being developed amid the deep tensions the world is witnessing.
"In the meantime, we have seen war returning to Europe with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. We have also witnessed a revisionist rhetoric in defiance of international law emanating from a number of international actors," the Foreign Minister said.
"The fact is that, in the middle of all this, the strong Greek-U.S. cooperation has been enhanced even further. That speaks volumes for our relation. The strengthening of this cooperation promotes our mutual interest, as well as regional peace, stability, and prosperity," he added.
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Dendias also reiterated the "common values" that both Athens and Washington share.
"The Fourth Strategic Dialogue is a culmination of a series of working group meetings and initiatives of our experts from various ministries. There has been progress in all the Strategic Dialogue subjects: defense and security; law enforcement and counterterrorism; humanitarian challenges; trade, investment; energy and environment; and last, but certainly not least, people-to-people contacts," he said.
The US Secretary of State will also meet on Tuesday with the leader of the Greek opposition and former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and will also open a new building in the American embassy in Athens, all part of a Europe trip he is conducting from February 16 to 22.
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