ATHENS – In an interview on Friday, Greek Minister of National Defense Nikos Panagiotopoulos stated that he would not reject an invitation from his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar to meet in the near future.
During an appearance on Skai FM, he suggested that such a meeting could take place in the earthquake-stricken regions of Turkey, where Akar has been spending considerable time, although both countries are currently in the midst of a demanding pre-electoral period.
The Minister emphasized that there has been a definite shift in relations between Greece and Turkey following the recent earthquakes. He noted that tensions have visibly decreased, but it remains to be seen whether this change will be temporary or enduring.
Panagiotopoulos also announced that Greece has received its 12th Rafale fighter jet at the Tanagra air force base, as part of the country’s procurement of Rafales from France.
The United States is expected to provide Greece with a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) for F-35 jets soon, pending details about the defense industry’s involvement in the deal and the establishment of infrastructure for the aircraft’s reception in Greece.
In 2024, Greece will acquire an additional three C-130 military transport aircraft, while a third C-27 transport aircraft is expected to be delivered by the end of the year, with a fourth arriving in early 2024. The Minister noted that Greece will then have a total of eight C-27s. He also mentioned that an Israeli company will partially address issues with delayed maintenance for the C-130s by maintaining three of them.