Greece seeks to modernize its armed forces; seeks partnership with NATO allies, Middle Eastern powers

Greece has vowed to expand military cooperation with traditional NATO allies as well as Middle Eastern powers in a race to modernize its armed forces and face its militarily assertive neighbor Turkey.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis visited an airbase in southern Greece to attend multinational military exercises joined by fighter jets from the United States, France, Israel, Spain, and the United Arab Emirates.

“We cannot be naive. We are facing a new set of threats,” Mitsotakis said, speaking in a hangar in front of aircraft taking part in the exercises. “Our world is extremely complex and our neighborhood is, unfortunately, becoming more unstable. Greece will continue to strengthen its defense capabilities and upgrade its armed forces.”

Greece spends more on defense than any other European Union country relative to the size of its economy. But it announced a major rearmament program last year following a naval standoff with Turkey over natural gas drilling rights in the eastern Mediterranean.

Source: Associated Press – DEREK GATOPOULOS

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