During talks with his American counterpart, Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos confirmed his government’s commitment to the partnership with the United States and called for a more permanent defense presence.
He cited the American presence that already exists in Souda Bay but suggested that a more “permanent presence” should be in three other Greek cities, namely Volos, Larissa and Alexandroupouli, in northern Greece and close to Turkey.
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
U.S. Defense Secretary James N. Mattis welcomed Kammenos to Washington, where the two delegations spoke about the bilateral relationship which continues to grow stronger while the American relationship with neighboring Turkey continues to sour.
During the meeting, the two military leaders also discussed continuing efforts to combat Russian influence in the region, including efforts by Moscow to use Greek citizens to sway public opinion over the negotiations with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
Details of such Russian influence were released in a stinging New York Times report that accused Greek-Russian businessman Ivan Savidis of paying hundreds of thousands of euros to people to stage protests and attempt to disrupt the negotiation process between Greece and FYROM.
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