Eyes on Turkey: Greece, Israel Ink Blockbuster Defense Deal

ATHENS — Both countries wary of Turkey’s intentions, Greece and Israel signed a $1.65 billion defense agreement aimed at tightening economic and political ties too and see the Israeli defense contractor Elbit Systems set up and operate a training center for the Greek Air Force.

That would, however, be over a 22-year period, said Reuters and other media reports, citing Israel’s Defense Ministry, the deal coming as Greece and Turkey are wrangling over rights to the Aegean and East Mediterranean.

Turkey, already drilling for oil and gas off Cyprus, wants to do the same around Greek islands and the two sides have engaged in alternating diplomacy with taking verbal shots at each other.

The training centre will be modeled on Israel's own flight academy and will be equipped with 10 M-346 training aircraft produced by Italian company Leonardo (LDOF.MI), the ministry said.

Elbit will supply kits to upgrade and operate Greece's T-6 aircraft and also provide training, simulators and logistical support, Greek pilots already often engaged in mock dogfights with Turkish jets violating Greek airspace.

"I am certain that … will upgrade the capabilities and strengthen the economies of Israel and Greece and thus the partnership between our two countries will deepen on the defence, economic and political levels," said Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz.

The announcement follows a meeting in Cyprus on Friday between the foreign ministers of Greece, Cyprus, Israel and the United Arab Emirates to provide for further cooperation in a number of areas.

Gantz said that “this cooperation agreement rests on the excellence of Israel’s defense industry and the strong relations between the defense establishments of Greece and Israel,” the Jerusalem Post said.

Brig.-Gen. (Res.) Yair Kulas, head of the Defense Ministry's Directorate for International Defense Cooperation (SIBAT) told the paper that, “The strategic partnership between the Israel Defense Ministry and Hellenic Ministry of National Defense is further cemented today, via the signing of the most expansive and one of the most significant defense agreements to date.”


BRUSSELS — The European Union's efforts to impose a new round of sanctions against Russia over the war in Ukraine appeared to be bogged down on Monday, as a small group of countries opposed a ban on imports of Russian oil.

Top Stories

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

General News

PHILADELPHIA – The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley announced that the Evzones, the Presidential Guard of Greece will be participating in the Philadelphia Greek Independence Day Parade on March 20.


TNΗ’s Happenings of the Week by Eraklis Diamataris

NEW YORK – The National Herald’s Happenings of the Week as have been reported at the print and digital editions of TNH and presented by the TNH Editor Eraklis Diamataris.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.