Biparty bill aims to boost cooperation between US and Greece

WASHINGTON – A new bipartisan bill aims to strengthen cooperation between the United States and Greece and expand the “3 + 1” forum which includes the United States, Greece, Israel and Cyprus “to include others areas of common interest to members ”.

According to the bill introduced by Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), The United States government “should support exercises joint maritime security cooperation with Cyprus. , Greece and Israel.

“The United States should support the sale of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets to Greece to include F-35 aircraft produced for Turkey but never delivered due to Turkey’s exclusion from the program due to his purchase of the Russian S-400. air defense system.

The legislation also suggests that the interparliamentary group of Cyprus, Greece, Israel and the United States “include a group of up to six United States senators, known as the” United States group, “which would meet. with the parties at least once a year to discuss issues such as “maritime security, defense cooperation, energy initiatives and countering the malicious influence efforts of the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation of Russia ”.

The new legislation authorizes $ 1 million per year in international military education and training assistance for Greece for the next four years, and expresses the feeling of Congress that the United States should provide direct loans to the Greece “for the purchase of defense articles, defense services and design and construction services in accordance with the further development of the military force of Greece.

It also authorizes the expedited delivery of any future F-35 aircraft ordered by Greece and requires the Secretary of Defense to submit a report to Congress on Greece’s defense needs “and on how states The United will seek to meet these needs by transferring surplus defense equipment to Greece. “

According to the Defense and Interparliamentary Partnership Law of 2021 between the United States and Greece, “Greece is a pillar of stability in the Eastern Mediterranean … the United States should increase and deepen its efforts to associate and support the modernization of the Greek army; it is in the interest of the United States that Greece continues to move its military equipment away from platforms and weapons systems made by Russia through the European Investment Program for Recapitalization, ”the bill says. .

“As a reliable NATO ally, Greece plays a vital role in promoting security and stability in the eastern Mediterranean,” Menendez said in a statement. “In order to ensure the security of the Eastern Mediterranean, the United States must strengthen its defense relationship with Greece by supporting Greece’s efforts to modernize its armed forces. “

Rubio said that “by extending foreign military assistance to Greece and establishing an interparliamentary partnership with democratic countries in the Eastern Mediterranean, this legislation reaffirms our strong commitment to the region at a time when malicious actors are striving undermine international security and stability. “

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