Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis appealed to lawmakers’ sense of patriotism ahead of a vote later on Thursday on the ratification of the Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement (MDCA) signed between Greece and the United States.
“The American writer Mark Twain said that patriotism is to support your country at all times and your government when it deserves it,” he said in his speech to MPs, outlining the benefits of the agreement, which has been extended to five years from one and foresees US Armed Forces operating and training at military bases in Volos, Alexandroupoli, Litochoro and Souda Bay.
“The specific agreement is not just a bilateral protocol but a vote of confidence in Greece as an unshakeable element of stability, as a prudent European and NATO partner that guarantees international legality in the face of any crises stirred by our neighbors,” Mitsotakis told Parliament.
The agreement, he noted, upgrades Greece’s significance and affects not just defense and diplomacy, but primarily the economy and the energy sector, with Greece being a “crucial hub on the energy map.”
“Our country is made the United States’ key partner and interlocutor in the broader region,” he said of the agreement.
“No country can stand alone in an international environment that is constantly changing,” the prime minister underlined, adding, in an apparent dig at Turkey, that this this is especially so when sharing borders with “unstable neighbors.”
“So-called neutrality turns into dangerous solitude. The so-called ‘independent’ policy leads to dependency in situations created by others. We stand with the alliance of the West,” Mitsotakis noted, saying that Greece’s response to the war in Ukraine is aligned with this philosophy.
“Our positions of principle are aligned with our national interests. Our presence in alliances is strong. We are friends that can be counted on in order to have, if necessary, support that can be counted upon,” he added. [Combined reports]