I have to say that I am extremely honoured to be here today as the “Poseidon’s Rage 22” Exercise is coming to an end.

Greek and US pilots trained together over the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean in a broad spectrum of scenarios and a broad spectrum of missions, but with just one goal: to preserve peace, stability and democracy.

This training takes place for the second year in a row.

During the last years, Greece and the US have significantly upgraded their defence cooperation, among others with two Protocols which I had the honour to sign with my US counterparts.
We added to our original Agreement new military installations in mainland Greece. And I have to say that the Russian invasion of Ukraine proved we were correct in our strategic foresight.

The Alexandroupolis port has become a major point of entry for the deployment of US forces, but also an important energy hub.

Greece and the US have once again stood shoulder-by-shoulder to safeguard our fundamental values despite the unprecedented attack that our values have received by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The US and Greece, both sent humanitarian and military assistance to Ukraine and both imposed heavy sanctions on Russia as did all of our Allies. Well, to be honest with you, almost all with one exception. But, let’s leave that for another day.   

Ladies and gentlemen,

The basic truth is that our historically turbulent region cannot afford any more provocative, aggressive and revisionist actions and behaviours. We need to work together to preserve peace, security and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean and beyond.

Greece has been moving along this path for the last years. And in this spirit, we signed the Agreements for the delimitation of the maritime zones with Italy and Egypt. We agreed with Albania to refer the issue to the International Court of Justice in The Hague. We created the East Mediterranean Gas Forum. We signed Agreements with France and the UAE. We have developed numerous multilateral forms of cooperation with our trusted regional partners. And I have to say, including the 3+1 cooperation with Israel and Cyprus – as Israel and Cyprus being the “3”, plus “1”, the US. And if you’ll allow me to express the hope that this will become “4” the soonest.

Over the years this base has seen a lot of “Eagles” (F15) and “Fighting Falcons” (F16) training here. And this year we were delighted to have the F35s “Lightnings” for the first time.

I would like to point out that this was the first live fire training of the F35s in Europe; as well as the first deployment of an entire squadron to another base. This is very important as more and more European Allies are opting for the F35 fighter jet for their own Air Forces. Including us, Greece.

So, may I express the hope to see sooner rather than later US F35s training together with Greek F35s. And our F16s and Rafales be present here to commemorate the occasion.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Republic

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