WASHINGTON, DC – The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) on December 21 commended Congress for including the US-Greece Defense and Interparliamentary Partnership Act of 2021, as amended by the Senate, in the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
The law strengthens U.S.-Greece defense relations by authorizing the International Military Education and Training (IMET) assistance to Greece for FY2022 – 2026, in the amount of $1.8 million per year, authorizing the European Recapitalization Incentive Program (ERIP) assistance to Greece, encouraging the U.S. government to send direct loans to Greece for the procurement of defense articles and services, and authorizing the President to expedite delivery of any future F-35 aircraft ordered by Greece.
The law also promotes the trilateral partnership of Israel, Greece, and Cyprus by encouraging the creation of an Eastern Mediterranean energy center, as well as establishing an interparliamentary group among Cyprus, Greece, Israel and the United States, in order to create a legislative component to advance the 3+1 process. The U.S. delegation will be termed “United States group,” and will consist of not more than six United States Senators.
The AHI engages in a variety of activities to strengthen the United States and Greece defense partnership, from organizing events with Greek and U.S. officials, to engaging in a frequent dialogue with Greek military officials at the highest levels. AHI President Larigakis recently hosted Greece’s Minister of Defense Nikos Panagiotopoulos for the Thanksgiving holidays, where he updated the Minister about political and legislative developments in Washington, DC.
“Strengthening and advancing the U.S.-Greece defense relationship has been a long-time AHI policy priority, and AHI commends the law for meeting this priority by further institutionalizing this defense partnership,” AHI President Nick Larigakis said. “In addition, we applaud the law for highlighting the trilateral cooperation between Greece, Cyprus, and Israel, which promotes peace, stability, and prosperity in the Eastern Mediterranean. We sincerely thank Congress, especially the Act’s sponsors, U.S. Senators Robert Menendez and Marco Rubio and U.S. Representatives Ted Deutch, Gus Bilirakis, and David Cicilline, for recognizing the U.S. must be a partner in the trilateral partnership and do more to strengthen its defense relationship with NATO ally, Greece.”
AHI has been at the forefront of advancing U.S.-Greece defense cooperation.
- In 2016, AHI commissioned a joint White Paper with the Lexington Institute on the geostrategic importance of Souda Bay for the United States.
- AHI successfully advocated for federal legislation that strengthen defense cooperation between U.S.-Greece, including relevant appropriations.
- AHI educates and raises the level of awareness about the importance of the U.S.-Greece defense relationship, keeping it on the agendas of key policymakers and decision makers in Washington, for example, U.S. President Joe Biden.
- AHI has hosted Greece’s top defense officials, including Minister of Defense Nikos Panagiotopoulos and the Chief of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff Konstantinos Floros, during its virtual speakers series.
- In 2019, the Greek Ministry of National Defense awards AHI President Larigakis Medal of Honor and Valour for Strengthening US-Greek Defense Cooperation.