Mitsotakis to seal major arms deal, sees ‘Strategic deepening of Greece-France relations’
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis' talks in Paris today and tomorrow with French President Emmanul Macron are of exceptional significance politically, geostrategically, diplomatically, and militarily at a time that Greece continues to face a military threat from Turkey
In an interview with ERT state television on the eve of the expected announcement of a Greece-France defence agreement , which is linked to a 5bn euro total military procurement package to buy French frigates and corvettes and Rafale fighter jets, Mitsotakis indicated that the final details would be decided at his Monday evening dinner with Macron.
"The only thing I can tell you is that we are oriented toward a deepening of the strategic cooperation between France and Greece," he declared.
Arms procurement and vision of EU defence autonomy
Mitsotakis also stressed the need for European defence autonomy, and came out in favour of the creation of a European army.
"I can say just what I said in my speech at the UN, which is that the demand for strategic autonomy is by now absolutely imperative for Europe to align its geopolitical power with its economic power. I believe that Greece and France are two countries which will find themselves in the frontline of this European effort. It is not an effort which in any way undermines Euro-Atlantic ties or NATO. The more powerful Europe is in terms of defence, the more it will have to offer NATO in the final analysis."
He also expressed Greece's longstanding support for the creation of a European army that can guard the EU's borders in a spirit of solidarity.
"One might consider missions in the Middle East, the Sahel, which is of great interest to Greece and France in the Eastern Mediterranean, and...