The United States and Greece reaffirmed their long-standing defense relationship, said the Pentagon Chief Spokesperson Dana W. White in a written statement following the meeting between U.S. Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis and the Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, on Tuesday at the Pentagon.
According to Pentagon’s spokesperson, “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. Finally, Secretary Mattis 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.
Panos Kammenos also met at the State Department with Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan and the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Wess Mitchell. Following the meeting between Kammenos and Sullivan, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said the two men discussed during the meeting, they discussed the strategic importance of the Eastern Mediterranean region and committed to further strengthen defense and security cooperation between Greece and the United States.
“Deputy Secretary Sullivan commended Greece’s contributions as a NATO Ally and its role as a pillar of stability in the region. Finally, the two officials welcomed the upcoming December launch of the U.S.-Greece Strategic Dialogue.”