Dendias, Blinken open new round of talks on defense, energy, Ukraine

Dendias, Blinken open new round of talks on defense, energy, Ukraine

Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias welcomed his American counterpart Anthony Blinken to Athens on Tuesday, saying cooperation between Greece and the United States has become even stronger and its strengthening promotes common interests, as the two officials launched the start of the 4th Greece-US Strategic Dialogue.

Dendias said the strategic relations between the two countries show the “continuous interest of the US in our region regarding cooperation and defense,” adding that the two will discuss defense and security, enforcement of international law and the fight against terrorism, humanitarian and environmental challenges as well as relations between peoples. “We will have an open dialogue about regional political problems,” he said.

The foreign minister also made special reference to the importance of the port of Alexandroupolis for Southeastern Europe.

On his side, Blinken stressed Greece’s leading role in strengthening security and the energy transition in the region and thanked Greece for its continued support to Ukraine. “The US is grateful for Greece’s unwavering support for Ukraine after the invasion, including opening its doors to 20,000 displaced Ukrainians,” he said at the opening of the talks.

He also welcomed Greece’s support to Turkey after the devastating earthquakes and called on Athens and Ankara to “seize the historic moment” and the positive climate that has been created.

Blinken also noted the role of Alexandroupolis port, saying it has become a key strategic hub to bring new defense weapons, trucks, artillery, military units across Europe, adding that the US is working to upgrade facilities in the region and create new jobs, while “we have similar investments in other parts of Greece, including a $ 123 million in infrastructure in Souda Bay and Larissa.”

The top US diplomat noted Greece’s steps towards green energy. “Greece’s transition is a model for the region,” he said, recalling that renewable energy sources such as wind and solar provided half of the country’s electricity needs, which, he said, is equivalent to the removal of 3 million cars from the roads.

He also praised Greece’s role in supporting neighboring countries to diversify energy sources by reducing their dependence on Russia, such as Bulgaria.

Today’s discussion is based on the 3rd strategic dialogue held between the two ministries in Washington in 2021 and other important steps, such as the amendment of the defense cooperation agreement.

[Kathimerini, AMNA]

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