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France and Greece sign defense pact.Athens buys 3 warships

Paris – France and Greece announced a multi-billion euro defense pact on Tuesday. This includes Athens’ decision to purchase three French warships as part of a strategy to strengthen its defense capabilities in the eastern Mediterranean amid repeated tensions with its long-standing enemy Turkey.

President Emmanuel Macron and Greek Prime Minister Kiria Kosmitsutakis announced a strategic partnership in defense and security at a joint press conference in Paris.

“This partnership represents our willingness to strengthen and strengthen cooperation in the defense and security sector on the basis of our mutual interests,” Macron said. It will “help protect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of both countries.”

Greece will purchase three French frigate ships built by the defense industry contractor Naval Group in Lorient, western France. The transaction includes an option to acquire a fourth frigate.

“From the people’s motives to protect our country,” Mitsutakis said, but also “Europe’s motives to strengthen the common defense industry.”

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“Greece and France are taking a bold first step towards strategic autonomy in Europe today,” he added. The Mediterranean Sea in the Middle East. “

The announcement will be made at a critical time for France after the $ 66 billion transaction to sell a diesel electric submarine to Australia was lost this month. Australia instead chose to buy a nuclear-powered submarine offered by the United States. Australia, Britain and the United States shocked French authorities.

Greece has already purchased 18 French Rafale fighters and plans to purchase six more under a program to modernize its army.

Macron and Mitsutakis did not immediately reveal the details of the deal. France’s top executives said the deal was worth “billions” of euros.

Tensions between Greece and its historic rival Turkey have increased in recent years over gas exploration rights in the eastern Mediterranean and the waters between the two countries.

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Both countries have been in the head of loggerhead turtles for decades on a long series of issues, including territorial rights in the Aegean Sea, maritime-aviation boundaries, and minority rights.

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Derek Gatopros contributed to this story from Athens, Greece.

Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

France and Greece sign defense pact.Athens buys 3 warships

Source link France and Greece sign defense pact.Athens buys 3 warships

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