The Greek Defense Minister, Panos Kammenos, called on the U.S. to deploy military assets on a “more permanent base” in three more locations in the country, beyond Souda base.
Kammenos was in Washington to meet Secretary of Defense John Mattis and other American officials ahead of the trilateral summit between Greece, Cyprus and Israel, with the USA being now an official partner to this Mediterranean partnership.
Kammenos, the leader of the Independent Greeks, a junior partner in the SYRIZA-led government, said that Greece believes that the USA is probably the country’s only strategic partner.
In the video released by the Department of Defense he is heard asking for the creation of more permanent American bases in Greece, apart from the existing one in Souda bay in Crete. He mentioned the cities of Larissa, Volos and Alexandroupolis.
Earlier today, #SecDef Mattis met with #Greek Defense Minister Panagiotis Kammenos at the #Pentagon where they reaffirmed the long-standing defense relationship between the U.S. and Greece. pic.twitter.com/C4FuePAz25
— U.S. Dept of Defense (@DeptofDefense) October 9, 2018
In an press release, the American Department of Defense noted:
”Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis met with Greek Defense Minister Panagiotis Kammenos today at the Pentagon to reaffirm the long-standing defense relationship between the United States and Greece.
The secretary thanked Minister Kammenos for his country’s continued support for U.S. basing at Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, a critical logistics hub.
Secretary Mattis also praised Minister Kammenos on Greece’s commitment to 2 percent defense spending and recent signing of a $1.5 billion F-16 upgrade.
He also thanked the Greek defense minister for his country’s recent actions to combat Russian malign activities in the region, and the two agreed to continue to hold Russia accountable.”