The extension of the Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement (MDCA) between Greece and the US will reportedly be discussed in the fall as part of the Strategic Dialogue between the two countries.
According to a senior US official, Washington is interested in modifying the agreement (which has been renewed every year since November 1990) so as to increase the number of facilities that host American units – including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
But it wants these units to be hosted at the facilities for limited periods of time rather than on a permanent basis.
The official said that a more “flexible” agreement of this nature will pave the way for the US to finance facilities and other support work. He also lauded what he described as Greece’s “responsible” stance regarding Turkey’s actions in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The effort to modernize US-Greek military agreements was also discussed on Tuesday in Acting Assistant Secretary of State Philip Reeker’s meeting in Athens with Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos and his deputy Alkiviadis Stefanis. Reeker was also briefed about the tensions with Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Referring to the meeting, which he attended, US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt tweeted later in the day that “our commitment to the US-Greece defense and security relationship is iron-clad.”
Reeker also met with other government officials as well as SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras.
Meanwhile, the Turkish Defense Ministry posted a video of its drillships in the Eastern Mediterranean on Twitter on Tuesday.
The ministry said in the post that the drillships are being constantly monitored by Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drones, helicopters and airplanes as well as submarines and corvettes at sea.
At the same time, two Turkish F-16s were reported to have violated Greek airspace in the northeastern and southeastern Aegean on Tuesday.