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Chairman of JCS Visits Athens

081024-N-5783F-001The Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff and United States Army General Martin Dempsey will be visiting Greece on December 8-9. The American General will meet with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, the Minister of National Defense Dimitris Avramopoulos and the Chief of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff, General Michalis Kostarakos. They will discuss on the realization of measures agreed upon during their recent meetings in the U.S.
The Chairman JCS was to be in Greece in September. However, his trip was postponed due to the chemical warfare attacks in Syria and the general turmoil in the SE Mediterranean. According to military and diplomatic sources, General Dempsey’s trip to Greece is connected to the American interest in the country’s geostrategic role.
Moreover, during Mr. Avramopoulos’ trip to the U.S. in July, shortly before Prime Minister Samaras’ visit to the White House, the Greek Minister of National Defense and his American counterpart Chuck Hagel discussed setting up a road map for the defense alliance of the two countries. The American initiative includes greater use of the base in Souda and the availability of weapon systems, either through sales or surplus loans.
The U.S. recognizes the importance of bases such as those in Souda and Kalamata in relation to their interests in the Mediterranean and Middle East. There have been discussions on further supporting mutual military exercises, with an emphasis on Special Forces and counter-terrorism training.

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