The Greece-France security agreement signed last week should lead to the establishment of French naval bases in Greece and Cyprus, a security analyst says. Dr. Ioannis Mazis believes that extending military collaboration with France will make Greece safer.
Dr. Mazis, a professor of Economic Geography and Geopolitical Theory at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and President of the department of Turkish Studies and Modern Asian Studies, has been an advocate of the agreement for many years.
He uses the term “happy billiard carom” to describe the Greece-France defense agreement, which came about as a result of the recent AUKUS defense agreement between the US, the UK and Australia.
Greece, France brought together by diplomatic “happy billiard carom”
Mazis claims that the AUKUS defense pact is a nuclear one, created to stand up to China, Asia’s superpower. He believes that, in a diplomatic “happy billiard carom,” AUKUS has accidentally caused the need for the Greece-France defense pact, “as it should.”
“The US has been the main protector-guarantor of the peace in the Mediterranean and the Middle East,” he says. “But now, it needs to focus on the Pacific, so France, the only nuclear and military superpower in Europe, can now take its place.”
Mazis thinks that the defense agreement should be extended to include French military bases in both Greece and Cyprus. He says that is a choice that would guarantee peace and stability in both countries.
“France needs to create bases in the Mediterranean, in order to serve its own strategic interests in the area,” he says. “Greece and Cyprus should take advantage of their Geo-strategic positions. They should cement the agreement, to include permanent French aeronautical bases with military personnel on their soil”.
France can guarantee peace and stability in the Mediterranean
The professor even suggests certain areas where those French bases should be built. “They should be on one of the Dodecanese islands in the Aegean and in the northern (non-occupied) part of Cyprus.”
He also believes that Greece and Cyprus are not the only countries that need France’s defense capabilities, saying that even Israel could benefit from such a pact with France. “Israel’s existence is constantly threatened and it needs France,” he adds.
The new Greece-France defense and security agreement was signed by the Greek PM and the French president last week. It includes a deal for the sale of three frigates, with the option for a fourth.
Under the conditions of the agreement, France has pledged to provide immediate military assistance to Greece – and vice versa – in the event of an attack by a third country. That also includes countries in one of their alliances (such as Turkey, which is a NATO member).
Taking an alternative view, in an exclusive interview with Greek Reporter, diplomatic, defense and geo-strategic analyst Athanasios Drougos was quite critical of the agreement. He talks about perplexing “shadows”, and believes it antagonizes transatlantic treaties – particularly NATO.