“The United States is our only true ally,” said Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos on Thursday, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Office of Defense Cooperation.
Kammenos spoke at the Hellenic Army Officers Club in Athens, addressing Greece’s military commanders, Deputy Commander of the U.S. European Command Timothy Ray, U.S. Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt and other army officers and Greek officials.
The Greek minister stressed the importance of military cooperation between the two countries and said that the strengthening of the Hellenic Navy with the help of the United States will enable Greece to “operate from Crete to Suez”. He added that a strong Hellenic Air Force is also important to battle the illicit trafficking of drugs, weapons and fuel that fund terrorism.
Kammenos said that Greece is positive about the extension of the defense agreement between the two countries and in particular with the U.S. army base at Souda. He pointed out that the Greek prime minister and the entire administration are working in this direction and the new Military Cooperation agreement will be signed soon.
In his speech, Kammemos also referred to the latest events in the Gulf, stressing that he was in favor of the designation of Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization and added that each country should choose “which side they are on.” The minister said that “Greece is surely on the side of the U.S.A.” and made the remark that “Greek people know very well that the only real ally of our country is the United States. The others are allies too, but they act only as creditors showing no respect, and that’s because some of them will never forget that they lost World War II to this country.”
The U.S. Ambassador to Greece said that, “Greece has played an essential role in maintaining the peace and stability of this complex region. For example, Greece has played and continues to play an active peacekeeping role in Kosovo. As a fellow NATO member, Greece answered the call when the United States invoked Article 5 after 9/11 – sending C-130s, engineers, and a Hellenic Mobile Field Hospital to Afghanistan.”
“Within our bilateral security relationship, our Greek military partners have frequently facilitated movement of U.S. personnel and equipment through Greece – for which, we are grateful,” Geoffrey Pyatt further said.