Two priorities for Greek diplomacy

Two priorities for Greek diplomacy

Greek diplomacy has two main immediate goals. They are, in order of priority, the completion of negotiations for the Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement (MDCA) with the United States and an active engagement in all regional discussions, from Libya to the Gulf.

As far as the MDCA is concerned, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias is expected to sign the extension in Washington on Thursday. It seems the most likely outcome will be a five-year extension, an upgrade from the current one-year duration of the agreement.

A longer-term agreement will entail an entirely different investment plan on the part of the US. This means that in the locations where American forces will be stationed (Souda, Larissa, Alexandroupoli, Stefanovikeio, Volos and possibly in Xanthi) investments will be made to improve the infrastructure.

Greek officials are now focusing on the need for a text to accompany or follow the signing of the new MDCA, a letter from Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The previous two, by Mike Pompeo in January 2020 and Henry Kissinger in 1975, are benchmarks for Greek foreign policy, and Athens wants a corresponding text that would indicate US commitment to Greek security.

After his US trip, Dendias will meet with his Libyan counterpart, Najla Mangoush, attend a tripartite summit with Egypt and Cyprus, and participate in a conference on the future of Libya organized in Tripoli by the government.

The signing of a defense cooperation agreement between Greece and the United Kingdom, meanwhile, is expected on October 25 or 26.

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