The Agreement on US Bases in Greece Will be Open-Ended

Diplomacy | September 26, 2019, Thursday // 15:13|  views

The agreement between Greece and the United States on defense cooperation, providing for the deployment of US military bases on Greek territory, will be open-ended.

The current agreement is being extended annually.

Negotiations between the two technical groups of Greece and the United States to amend the Annex to the Agreement on Defense Cooperation have already been completed. There is no longer any mention of the term of the contract, ie. it will be opened and can only be terminated if the agreement is denounced by one of the parties.

The document will be signed by the Greek and US foreign ministers during Mike Pompeo's visit to Athens in 2 weeks.

Greece is seeking to increase its strategic importance and strengthen its safeguards by expanding US military presence in the country in times of uncertainty in the region. Strengthening relations between Athens and Washington was part ofKyriakos Mitsotakis' pre-election commitments and a central theme for his government.

Negotiations on the agreement began almost immediately after the new government began its work.

A week ago, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias convened a meeting at which Greece's final proposal was formulated, after which it was handed over to the US side.

The new agreement defines the parameters of US action at the port of Alexandropoulos and the operating conditions of the port on the basis of the Court of Crete.

The creation of high-tech equipment is provided on Greek territory and within the Greek bases and camps in Central Greece.

In recent years, Athens and Washington have significantly strengthened their ties. New US military bases are being opened in Greece. In December 2018, the United States began a strategic dialogue with Greece, which included all major areas of cooperation. Greece negotiated the purchase of US LNG and received the first batch of it in December 2018.

The Defense Cooperation Agreement, known as the "Bases Agreement", was signed in 1990. Currently, only one US base "Suda Bay" is officially operating in Crete.

During the summer, it became clear that the parties wanted to extend the agreement to 9 or 10 years, and subsequently it became permanent.

Of interest to the United States are the base at the Court, the air base at Larisa and Stefanowiczio and the port at Alexandropoulos.

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Tags: agreement, Nikos Dendias, greece, United States


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