Greece’s government spokesman announced that the country will begin an upgrade of its military, in light of the “near daily” threats of war by neighboring Turkey.
“The Turkish leadership is unleashing, on a near daily basis, threats of war and makes provocative statements against Greece,” Petsas said. “We respond with political, diplomatic and operational readiness, determined to do whatever is necessary to protect our sovereign rights.”
“We are in contact with friendly countries in order to reinforce the equipment of our armed forces,” he announced.
Although Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will announce specific details in a national address to the nation on Saturday, numerous media reports and Tweets from various sources point to Greece’s purchase of French and U.S. guns, boats and other items, including French-made Rafale fighter jets and at least one French frigate.
Purchases could also include U.S. made AGM-84 Harpoon missiles, according to a Tweet from the United States Embassy, which denied Greek media reports claiming that Washington refused the sale to Greece.
Greece’s decision to bolster its military comes as Greece’s traditional allies, the United States, the European Union and NATO, all have sent mixed signals in the escalating war of words between Athens and Ankara.
Although some European nations like Austria and France have advocated for a tough approach against Turkey, the EU leaders are split in their approach to the conflict and said they will decide how to deal with Turkey when they meet on September 24-25, which could include sanctions against Ankara.
Washington is also sending mixed and confusing signals and doesn’t have a singular approach to Turkey.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s constant praising of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is seen as bolstering Erdogan’s boldness and bullying in the region, while numerous members of Congress, including many from Trump’s own Republican Party, have criticized the Turkish dictator’s threats of war against Greece.
The State Department also sent a veiled message to Turkey, announcing the partial lifting of an arms embargo on Cyprus that was hailed in Athens and Nicosia. The lifting, however, only applies to non-lethal items and only applies for one year.
The Washington DC-based American Hellenic Institute called the move “a good first step.”
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