Defense minister heads to US for tank deal talks

Defense Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos is due to meet US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta on Tuesday, when the latter will attempt to conclude an agreement for Greece to accept 400 tanks from the USA.

Washington has offered Athens the opportunity to buy the used M1A1 Abrams tanks but there is a sticking point over the transportation costs, which could run to 10 million euros.

The Greek government is hoping that local shipowners will help cover the cost but, according to sources, Avramopoulos wants to find out if Washington is willing to assist as well.

Avramopoulos will also ask Panetta if the US has any interest in buying army uniforms from Greece based on the latest models, which have been digitally designed by Greek manufacturers.

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