Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos has urged the United States to increase bilateral security cooperation with Greece, urging Washington to expand its military presence to Volos and Alexandroupoli as well as Larissa.
“I want to affirm that Greece considers the United States a strategic partner and ally, the only one I dare to say,” Kammenos said during a meeting with US Defense Secretary James Mattis at the Pentagon on Tuesday.
“It is very important for Greece that the United States deploy military assets in Greece on a more permanent basis not only in Souda Bay but also in Larissa, in Volos, in Alexnadroupoli,” he said.
According to a statement from the Pentagon, Mattis thanked Kammenos for Greece’s continued support for US basing at Souda Bay on Crete island, a critical logistics hub.
Mattis also praised Kammenos on Greece’s commitment to 2 percent defense spending and recent signing of a $1.5 billion F-16 upgrade.
“He also thanked the Greek defense minister for his country’s recent actions to combat Russian malign activities in the region, and the two agreed to continue to hold Russia accountable,” the Pentagon said.
Earlier today, #SecDef Mattis met with #Greek Defense Minister Panagiotis Kammenos at the #Pentagon where they reaffirmed the long-standing defense relationship between the U.S. and Greece. pic.twitter.com/C4FuePAz25— U.S. Dept of Defense (@DeptofDefense) October 9, 2018