Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Tuesday hailed a $1.68 billion defense agreement with Greece as a reflection of “excellent and developing relations” between the two countries.
“It is a long-term partnership that will serve the interests of both Israel and Greece, create hundreds of jobs in both countries, and promote stability in the Mediterranean,” Gantz said in comments reported by the Israeli Defense Ministry after Athens approved the agreement, which spans over 20 years and comes as a result of an international tender.
“In the phone call that I received after the agreement was approved, I thanked my friend the Greek minister of defense, Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, and expressed my appreciation for his personal involvement in advancing this project. I also commended the recent strengthening of defense relations between our countries and noted my expectation that these will deepen further,” Gantz said.
The agreement foresees the establishment of a flight academy for the Hellenic Air Force that will be built and operated by Israel’s Elbit Systems, the procurement of 10 M-346 aircraft and maintenance of T-6 aircraft, as well as the provision of simulators, training and logistic support, the Israeli Defense Ministry said in a tweet on Tuesday, hailing it as the “biggest defense agreement between Israel and Greece.”