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Consequences of strategic Greek-US military cooperation for Turkey

Consequences of strategic Greek-US military cooperation for Turkey

The joint visit of the Greek minister of defense and the US ambassador to Greece to the Greek port of Alexandroupolis, where Atlantic Resolve 2021 operation is underway to transfer US troops to Eastern Europe, shows that this port has been turned to one of the focal points of Greek-US bilateral cooperation in defense sector.

NOURNEWS - Within the protocol for military cooperation with the United States, signed on October 14, Greece handed over a military base in Alexandroupolis, 45 km from the Turkish border, to US forces. The United States also plans to increase the capacity of the base to accommodate another 300 to 400 troops.

The port is a gateway for US troops to the western Balkans and the Black Sea region. The two officials have closely monitored part of the “largest transfer of military weapons” through Greece and emphasize the port’s strategic and enhanced role in Greek-American interests.

In the recent week, the number of US troops passing through Alexandroupolis to Eastern Europe has increased, and within a week 73 helicopters and a total of 995 military weapons have transported through Alexandroupolis.

The recent US military operations and shipments to the port are part of the Atlantic Resolve operation. Such activities started in 2014 and strategic transfers are activities that take place within the framework of logistics activities. Activities that used to take place across the Baltic, more recently take place through the port of Alexandroupolis. Such measures are in line with European security, including the transfer of US logistics and combat elements to Europe, their training for a specified period, and then their return. The US forces are said to pass only through Alexandroupolis to boost European security.

Evidence shows that the strategic partnership between Greece and the United States, especially in the field of defense, is at the highest level in the history of bilateral relations. The US relations with Greece are one of the strongest US defense ties in Europe. According to the United States, expansion of defense cooperation between the two countries is not only in the interest of the two countries, but also strengthens NATO. The two sides also expressed satisfaction with the privatization process of the two ports of Alexandroupolis and Kavala with the participation of the two American companies Black Summit and Quintana in the international auction of the two ports.

The Greek side has repeatedly stated in recent years that it is a credible ally and pillar of stability in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East and North Africa, and that its cooperation and initiatives with other countries in the region are in line with international law and the principles of good neighborliness. With the support of its European allies, Athens is always ready and capable of defending its sovereignty and sovereign rights. Greece, in official positions, insists that it does not threaten any country, but at the same time does not like to be threatened by anyone, and to this end, has increased its diplomatic efforts to intensify defense and strategic cooperation with friendly and allied countries, strengthened its coalitions and upgraded the strength of the country’s armed forces with the aim of deterrence.

Greek-American arms cooperation has increased since the Conservatives came to power in Greece as traditional US allies. Military cooperation between Greece and the United States continues with various exercises and the transfer of military equipment to Greece. Such cooperation has accelerated with US financial support, and joint exercises between the two countries have improved in terms of number and quality.

The United States will provide 33 million dollars in aid to Greece for the development and modernization of military installations, including air bases. The fund will be used to build two hangars and support facilities at an air base in the Greek province of Larissa. Washington is providing the assistance under the recently extended Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement (MDCA) with Greece, which also allows US forces to use the facility.

Under the agreement, negotiations continue on US proposals regarding Athens’ efforts to strengthen its military capabilities through the acquisition of new weapons. Greece is considering purchasing a number of AAA offensive vessels from the United States for the Navy. This comes after Athens recently received a consignment of armored security vehicles as well as OH-58 helicopters and speedboats.

Athens has recently signed a number of arms deals with the Israeli regime for the purchase of drones and missiles, with France for the purchase of Rafale fighter jets, and with the United States for the upgrade of F-16 fighter jets.

Turkey is repeatedly accusing its neighbor of militarizing the Aegean islands and its maximum demands, and the Greek prime minister of introducing a “distorted picture” of current developments in the eastern Mediterranean. From Turkey’s point of view, bilateral disputes with Greece include delimitation of the continental shelf, the extent of sea and air space, the sovereignty of islands and rocky islands not ceded to Greece by valid international treaties, Greece’s violation of the East Aegean demilitarization regime and the issue of flight information regions (FIR), NAVTEX and Search and Rescue (SAR) operations. From the Turkish point of view, Greek actions such as the signing of defense cooperation agreements with third countries pose a greater threat to regional stability. Turkey will continue to defend its vital interests in the region.

Turkey believes that despite its efforts, Greece continues to escalate tensions, aggressive rhetoric and provocative and illegal activities. From Turkey’s point of view, despite the calls for dialogue, Greece continues its accusations against Turkey, and since the beginning of 2021, it has violated 2321 times the air and maritime space of ​​civilian areas in the eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea with its naval and air means. Meanwhile, last year Greece violated 59 times the 1988 agreement to avoid military exercises and training activities on legal and religious holidays, and has conducted exercises in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean.

Relations between Turkey and Greece, two members of NATO, have often been strained, with relations deteriorating sharply last year and warships in the eastern Mediterranean encountered over maritime borders and energy rights. The two countries came close to a military confrontation in a dispute over gas exploration in the eastern Mediterranean. Both sides in official positions claim that they should adopt peaceful political solutions and not aggressive ones. From Greece’s point of view, Athens always welcomes talks with Turkey to resolve delimitation of the continental shelf and the exclusive economic zone, but for the talks to be fruitful, Turkey must eliminate the threat of war against Greece.


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