Jan 25, 2021
Greece’s protection minister signed a $three billion deal to purchase 18 Dassault Rafale fighter jets from France throughout a ceremony along with his French counterpart in Athens on Monday. Six of the fighters might be new, whereas 12 are used.
The settlement is the newest signal of Greece’s rising protection ties with Paris because the Hellenic Armed Forces search to modernize amid heightened tensions with neighboring Turkey.
Greek Defense Minister Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos known as the deal a “milestone,” saying it “sends a clear message.”
“For the first time, a European country acquires the Rafale,” France’s Defense Minister Florence Parly tweeted after finalizing the cope with Panagiotopoulos. “Today is a great day and an exceptional opportunity to celebrate a rich and ancient defense friendship,” she wrote.
The extremely publicized settlement comes as Greek officers start exploratory talks in Istanbul on Monday to resolve a variety of disputes, together with Turkey’s hydrocarbon exploration in waters claimed by Greece within the Eastern Mediterranean.
Parly can be anticipated to current a proposal to promote Belharra-class frigates to Athens, which is in search of to accumulate 4 new medium-sized ships as a part of a speedy protection modernization introduced by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in September.
France joined Greece for joint naval and air workout routines in August after Turkey issued the NAVTEX for the Oruc Reis exploration vessel, regardless of threats of sanctions by the European Union.
Ankara’s navy deployments within the Aegean Sea, Africa and the Levant have additionally drawn Middle Eastern governments into frequent trigger with Greece and its Mediterranean neighbors.
Athens signed a maritime demarcation settlement with Egypt in August, a joint protection settlement with the United Arab Emirates in November and has laid out a 20-year, $1.68 billion navy cope with Israel earlier this month.