Military talks with US going down to the wire

Military talks with US going down to the wire

Negotiations between Greece and the US on a technical and diplomatic level will be in progress until the last moment, so that the new amendment to the Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement (MDCA) between the two countries includes features that are of direct interest to Athens, such as the use of new locations by American military forces.

The final act will be played out on October 14, when, as Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexandros Papaioannou noted on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias will go to Washington to sign the MDCA.

The visit will coincide, among other things, with the third round of the US-Greece Strategic Dialogue. 

As clearly hinted by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the new MDCA will be for five years, which practically signals greater investment opportunities for the US Congress in the facilities used by US forces in Greece.

Greece is also making great efforts to expand the presence of American forces in the facilities of the Greek air and naval forces on the island of Skyros in the central Aegean and in some locations in Thrace, as well as in Andravida, in the Peloponnese.

The requests have so far reportedly been met with considerable skepticism from the American side, but discussions are ongoing.

Dendias’ contacts are taking place at a time when there seems to be a clear shift in US policy toward Turkey. 

The signals that there is no need to promote a new, second East Med Act by Congress, which would include provisions to support the pipeline of the same name, are essentially addressed to Ankara.

Furthermore, there seems to be a more relaxed attitude to Turkey in Washington, as many believe that the expulsion from the F-35 program and Turkey’s inclusion in CAATSA-type sanctions are already enough.

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