On Thursday, Greece and the United States upgraded a previous Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement (MDCA), a step took as uplifting bilateral ties in defense and other relations. The U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and visiting Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias signed the amendment to the agreement as part of the 3rd round of the American-Greece Strategic Negotiation.
The negotiations were previously launched in 2018 by then-American Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his Greek counterpart. Blinken pronounced the talks as a signal of mutual commitment to strengthening the partnership of both countries through which two states will become an even more powerful force of peace, human dignity, and prosperity.
This morning in Washington @SecBlinken & @NikosDendias signed the renewal of the US-Greece Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement. Greece is an indispensable partner of the US. Together we’re taking this relationship to greater heights, advancing shared goals for peace & stability. pic.twitter.com/0jSS9IaLBr
— U.S. Embassy Athens (@USEmbassyAthens) October 14, 2021
Moreover, Blinken told a press conference that the amendment would enable the United States forces in Greece to train and operate from more locations. He said that it also makes a shell that allows the U.S. to invest in Greece, not only for the improvement of defense facilities of the country but additionally to do so in a wider framework of cooperation that improved and established.
The pact comes as tension mounted in the eastern Mediterranean, where Greece and its neighbor country Turkey recently blamed each other for aggressive measures that risked a climb of territorial disputes.
Reliable Ally of the United States
A senior member of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, Congressman Ted Deutch, also met with Dendias. Deutch said that the United States-Greece relationship is vital to the national interests of the U.S. and the stability and security of the Eastern Mediterranean region. Greece steadily proved itself as a reliable partner to update its armed forces and strengthen the strategic partnership of the U.S.
Dutch further said that the importance of this cooperation is behind his decision to sponsor, with the U.S.-Greece Defense, Representative Gus Bilirakis, and Interparliamentary Partnership Act of 2021. He said that the bill was designed for temporary engagement among Israel, Greece, and Cyprus, known as the 3+1 process, along with supporting the military modernization of Greece.
Deutch stated that encouraging continuous security cooperation among the U.S. allies and partners, including Greece, will help them to ensure stability and solidity all over the region and boost global security. However, a senior fellow in the Eurasia Program at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, Stephen J. Blank, told VOA News that while establishing defense ties with Athens signifies that the United States will support Greece, U.S.’ overriding concern is ensuring that the two North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies that have a prolonged history of common enmity dating back to the independence of Greece from the Ottoman Empire in 1821, so not start a war.