Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias’ interview remarks with the Associated Press (Washington DC, 14.10.2021)

JOURNALIST: Will there be additional USA installations and forces in Greece?

N. DENDIAS: It is clear that the American Administration and the United States is turning its attention to face the challenge presented to the United States by China, that is quite clear. AUKUS, for example, is a clear example of that change of focus of the United States.

This agreement, signed at the time where the United States is focusing more on the Indo-Pacific, shows the commitment of the United States and of the Biden Administration to the stability and prosperity of Greece, of the Balkans, of Southeastern Europe and Eastern Mediterranean.

At the same time, Greece being a midsize country but in a very volatile area, believes that the US’ presence is still required in the Southeastern Mediterranean.

N. DENDIAS: It means more American presence in mainland Greece, and especially in Thrace, in northeastern Greece, which is an area of particular importance both for us Greeks but also for NATO and the United States.

And it is quite close to our border with Turkey, a few kilometers to our border with Turkey.

This is not an agreement that will be used or is an agreement against anybody else. It is an agreement between Greece and the United States of America and the purpose of the agreement is the stability and prosperity of both our countries.

N. DENDIAS: Is Turkey targeted through those agreements? My clear answer is no, not at all. We would love in the future for Turkey to be part of this understanding. But of course, for that to happen Turkey must change its ways. Turkey must understand that the way forward is through International Law, International Law of the Sea. Not through threats of war.

N. DENDIAS: And also, if the American presence is not manifested, some countries may have clever ideas about their role. There are countries in the overall region that envision themselves like local super-powers. I am sometimes afraid that Turkey may be falling under that category.

N. DENDIAS: [On the Greece-France mutual defense agreement] “Τhis is an agreement that is complementary to NATO, it does not diminish the role of NATO”

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