Greece hailed on Thursday the overwhelming and bipartisan passage of the US-Greece Defense and Interparliamentary Partnership Act by the U.S. Congress earlier in the week.
Greece’s Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias stated “I would especially like to express our gratitude to the friends of Greece, to the friends of peace, stability and security, Senators Bob Menendez and Marco Rubio, as well as Congressmen Ted Deutch and Gus Bilirakis.
“The adoption of this Act, following the Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement, is another important step in deepening the strategic relationship between Greece and the USA,” he added.
“This Act reflects the strategic importance that the United States attaches to our country. Particularly in terms of ensuring the prosperity of the Greek people. At the same time, it broadens the prospects for the deepening of the defense cooperation at a level unrivaled by any other country in our region, Dendias noted.
The key provisions of this new Act are, inter alia, the following:
1. The funds of the European Recapitalization Incentive Program of the USA are to be allocated to the greatest extent to Greece in order to meet its defense needs.
2. Funding to Greece for the procurement of defense equipment.
3. The President of the USA is authorized to expedite delivery of any future F–35 aircraft to Greece.
4. Funding for the Greek Armed Forces’ military education and training.
5. The establishment of an Interparliamentary Group in the framework of the Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and the USA 3+1 format in order to deepen this relationship with a legislative component, in which six US Senators will participate.
The Act, which was sponsored by U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), was included in the annual defense authorization bill, the NDAA, which passed on Dec. 8.
The gargantuan bill now goes to the Oval Office to await President Joe Biden’s signature.
Strengthening US defense relationship with Greece
“The enactment of the U.S.-Greece Defense and Interparliamentary Partnership Act of 2021 is a powerful demonstration not only of the Congress’s commitment to strengthening our bilateral defense relationship and enduring ties with our Hellenic partners, but also of our appreciation for Greece’s pivotal role in securing regional security and economic prosperity in the Eastern Mediterranean,” Chairman Menendez said upon the passage of the bill.
“As a life-long advocate and stalwart supporter of the deep American bonds with Greece, Cyprus and Israel, I am incredibly proud to see Congress take such a critical step to reaffirm the 3+1 partnership as the lynchpin of democracy and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean and as an invaluable alliance for the United States.”
BREAKING: Congress just passed my U.S.-Greece Defense & Interparliamentary Partnership Act, demonstrating our commitment to our Hellenic partners & appreciation for their pivotal role in securing regional security & economic prosperity in the Eastern Med. https://t.co/ZyrSstkEbe pic.twitter.com/c0zmeplGf8
— Senate Foreign Relations Committee (@SFRCdems) December 15, 2021