US, Greece Tighten Defense Knot, Bigger American Military Presence


(Photo by Eurokinissi/Defense Ministry)

ATHENS - Having been tight with the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA, the United States is even closer with the New Democracy Conservatives, with Greece wanting a bigger role in the Eastern Mediterraneanand Balkans by upgrading its cooperation with Washington.

Greece and the US are in advanced talks for the renewal of the Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement (MDCA) said Kathimerini, after former premier and SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras did the same, reneging on his vow to end a US military presence and take Greece out of NATO, also cozying up to the defense alliance.

The newspaper said the Greek government is trying to tie the five-year renewal of the MDCA by being included in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) programs as are  Egypt, Israel and Jordan, although it seems unlikely.

The focus of the talks concern the duration of the MDCA and the use of new camps or military bases, with 23 locations being discussed besides a US Naval base on Souda Bay on Crete, to include Stefanovikeio, Larissa and Alexandroupolis.

The expansion of the defense deal may also depend of Greece’s plan to acquire new frigates from the US, having already talked with France with Washington wanting a non-binding letter of request.

The US wants to make the sale instead of Greece purchasing more warships from France, The Netherlands, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom or Germany to build its arsenal against Turkey in case of a conflict - Germany also supplying Turkey.

going ahead with is waiting a non-binding Letter of Request (LOR) from Athens to 

If the American proposal is selected, there is a specific provision for the joint development and production of the next generation of American Constellation-class frigates (FFGX) the paper added.