NEWS

Kammenos says US is Greece’s best international ally

TAGS: Defense, Diplomacy, Politics

Washington is Greece’s only true international ally, Defense Minister Panos Kammenos insisted on Thursday, and accused the country’s European partners of showing a lack of respect.

“The Greek people are well aware that the United States has been the country’s only genuine ally,” Kammenos said.

“The others are allies, but they are [allies] only in the form of creditors, without [any sense of] respect and this is because some of them will never forget that they lost World War II to this country,”

Kammenos, who is also leader of junior coalition partner Independent Greeks, added during a speech marking the 70th anniversary of the US Office of Defense Cooperation in Athens Thursday.

“For this reason, we welcome US support at this very difficult moment for our country,” said Kammenos, who also called for the strengthening of the Hellenic Navy with US help so “that it can operate from Crete to the Suez.”

Bolstering the navy and the country’s military aviation capabilities are necessary, he said, to intercept the flow of drugs, weapons and fuel through which terrorism is funded.

He also said that Greece is positively inclined to extend the time frame of the defense agreement between the two countries, adding that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his government are working in that direction.

He also referred to the latest developments in the Gulf states and stressed that he supports describing the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. Aiming his fire at Turkey, he said that each country must choose “whose side they want to be on.” It is certain, he said, that “Greece will be on the side of the US.”

For his part, US Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt praised relations between Athens and Washington, adding that as Greece’s economy stabilizes, it will become even more active in its role as a bridge between countries of the region.

Online