September 13, 2021 by archyde
Greece, facing recurring tensions with Turkey, has announced its intention to acquire six additional French Rafale fighter jets, bringing its total orders to 24 aircraft. A decision hailed by Paris, which sees it as a ” advanced “ in European defense cooperation.
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“Excellent news: Greece has just announced its intention to acquire 6 additional Rafale. Together, we are moving forward to build genuine European autonomy ”, French Minister of the Armies Florence Parly tweeted on Sunday. “European cooperation is progressing, in concrete terms”, added the French Secretary of State for European Affairs Clément Beaune on Twitter.
A first flight before the end of the year
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis hinted on Saturday that his country would take this step. “I announced the purchase of 18 Rafale. There will soon be 24 ”, he said at the Thessaloniki International Fair. “The first of them will fly in the Greek sky before the end of the year”, he added.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis has also announced “Discuss a five-year extension of the defense cooperation agreement” with the United States, instead of annual negotiations as conducted so far, “So as not to have to renew it every year”.
These agreements could result in “A greater American presence in our country”, added the Prime Minister, who does not “Not the door to other strategic agreements”, citing the relation ” very close “, with France.
Greece had concluded in record time in January the purchase of its first 18 Rafales to strengthen its defense and its partnership with France. The decision to negotiate was taken in September 2020 by Athens in reaction to Turkey’s gas exploration and its show of force in disputed waters with Greece and Cyprus.
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France was then demonstratively sided with Athens and had sent Rafale and warships in the face of the deployment of Turkish military and prospecting ships.PUT 1xbet