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Politics

Defense Min. Meets Greek Community of Alexandria, Attends EDA Online Conference

December 5, 2020

ALEXANDRIA – Greek National Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos, on an official three-day visit to Egypt since Thursday, met with Pope and Patriarch Theodore II of Alexandria and All Africa and the Greek community of Alexandria on Friday.

The minister was given a tour of the patriarchal museums and monuments, and warmly welcomed by the Alexandria community. Its leader Andreas Vafiadis expressed the community's "joy, optimism, honor and pride" for his visit to the city of Alexander the Great, Georgios Averof and Constantine Cavafy.

Also on Friday, Panagiotopoulos was one of the panelists at the second, closing, day of the European Defense Agency's (EDA) virtual annual conference. Moderated by EDA chief executive Jiri Sedivy, and focused on "Increasing European defence cooperation in times of crisis", the panel also featured Nathalie Loiseau, chair the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Security and Defence (SEDE) Committee.

The Greek minister underlined the necessity of the EU's strategic independence and the building of collaborative practices that will promote the EU as a reliable source of stability. In the Q&A session, he said that Greece consistently keeps its defense budget above 2 pct of GDP, even though the pandemic has created massive economic problems. He also spoke of the systematic work the country has done through its collaboration among defense forces, industry, academia and research community, which contributed to its successful presence at the European defence industrial development programme (EDIDP).

On Saturday, Panagiotopoulos and Hellenic National Defense Staff chief, General Constantine Floros, will observe the interbranch Greek-Egyptian defense exercise "Medusa 10" off the coast of Alexandria. The exercise includes defense participants from Cyprus, France and the United Arab Emirates.

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