US Defense Secretary Mark Esper has urged Greece to contribute to “the international effort to protect critical infrastructure in the Gulf Region.”
In a tweet, Esper praised Greece as a “close friend and ally to the US” and as one of the few members of the NATO military alliance that spends more than 2 percent of its gross domestic product on defense.
Officials in Athens responded that Greece is unable to contribute due to being in a state of alert in the Aegean Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean.
However, they informed Washington that Greek military personnel in the United Arab Emirates could join teams of military observers in the Gulf area.
Greece is a close friend & ally to the US & one of the few @NATO members who spend over 2% of GDP on defense. Today I thanked Minister Panagiotopoulos for his leadership & encouraged Greece to join the international effort to protect critical infrastructure in the Gulf Region.
— Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper (@EsperDoD) October 3, 2019