NEWS

EastMed Act improves US-Greece military cooperation, Risch says

eastmed-act-improves-us-greece-military-cooperation-risch-says

The EastMed Act improves US military cooperation with Greece and establishes areas of cooperation such as energy security in the region, Jim Risch, chairman of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, said in an interview with Parapolitika newspaper on Saturday.

Specifically on the military cooperation, the US Senator said it increases US military training for Greek soldiers and US funding for military equipment so that Greece can continue to "build" its army and respects its commitments to NATO.

He also said the Act upgrades US relations with its allies in the Eastern Mediterranean, removes the long-standing arms embargo in Cyprus.

"The EastMed Act enhances the already excellent level of cooperation," he said it a statement quoted by the state-run news agency ANA-MPA. 

"It is critical for the US to have a common and committed ally like Greece in the Eastern Mediterranean."

"US relations with Greece are at their best ever," noting that "the positive momentum in Greek-American relations began with the previous government but continued with the Mitsotakis government".

Risch also said that there are always ways to improve bilateral relations and hopes Greece will get to spend 20 pct of its defence budget on equipment that will ensure its readiness.

The Senator noted he hopes for even closer cooperation to meet the growing challenge from China and ensure that Chinese investment "does not endanger our collective security or our values," as well as Greek-American business ties.

[ANA-MPA]