Close defence cooperation with the United States and NATO is a shield that offers deterrent power to Greece, Senator Robert Menendez said during the “Delphi Economic Forum” in Washington. The senator referred in detail to all the recent steps that have substantially upgraded defence cooperation between the two sides and work to the benefit of both Greece and the USA.
According to the senator, this close relationship with the U.S. and NATO was something that Greece’s more “antagonistic” neighbours must now take into account.
“So wait a minute, you want to strike out at a country that has a US presence in the Souda Gulf? Do you want to strike a country that has such a US presence in Alexandroupolis? Do you really think that this is smart? I don’t think it is smart for anyone to do any of this, because there is no reason. Greece did nothing to provoke Turkey,” Menendez said, noting that the incentives for such actions were “definitely competitive” and that this defence cooperation adds another dimension to “helping Greece find itself in a stronger defensive position through the alliance with the US.”
Turkish F-16 fighter jets
Menendez once again expressed his staunch opposition to Turkiye’s request for F-16s, saying “when we share values with a country and there is also a strategic interest, I have no problem giving the green light as chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations having jurisdiction over the matter. I have no problem signing under these circumstances. But when a country does the exact opposite, then yes, I have a problem agreeing to that kind of sale.”
Sale of F-35 fighter jets to Greece
The chairman of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee revealed that two days ago he gave the green light for the sale of F-35 jets to Greece. The committee’s Republican vice chairman, Jim Reese, as well as the chairman and vice chairman of the corresponding House committee (Michael McCaul, Gregory Meeks) must also agree under the process. When this consent is secured, then the US government will formally notify Congress of the sale of F-35s to Greece and from there the prescribed procedure for the ratification of the defence contract will be followed.
“I am pleased that two days ago I signed off for the F35s to the Hellenic Republic and I did so not because I am simply a fan of the Greek people, I did so because this is a country that shares our values, that is aligned with us to things that are important in the world; democracy, human rights, rule of law, a country that is not belligerent to its neighbours but on the on contrary. So when a country lines up in its values with us and there is also strategic interest, then I have no problem signing off as the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee with the jurisdiction of arms sales, I had no problem signing off under those circumstances. But when a country exhibits the contrary to that, then yes I have a problem,” Menendez underlined.