Greece is ready to be the next F-35 recipient, he stressed.
The importance of the tripartite scheme between Greece, Cyprus and Israel, plus the USA (3+1) with an emphasis on energy, but also the need to expand and deepen the fields of cooperation, was underlined by Senator Bob Menendez speaking at the Delphi Forum via video message.
“The tripartite scheme of Greece-Cyprus-Israel, plus the US, must be more than energy. We must be united with our military partners and allies. Our collective capabilities with Greece, Cyprus and Israel will be vital to deter future attacks in the Eastern Mediterranean,” said the chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “As we have seen in the last year, dangerous leaders like Erdogan or Putin are willing to try to use energy as a weapon. The best defense against such an attack is to have strong alliances with like-minded partners who are willing to defend their democratic values. Greece, Cyprus, Israel and the United States are states that I believe are united by such common interests and values” noted the chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
In this context, he expressed his satisfaction that “we are starting to see some of the changes being implemented, including the lifting of restrictions on arms sales to Cyprus and that Greece is ready to be the next F-35 recipient.”
Highlighting how to further trilateral cooperation, plus the US, Bob Menendez emphasized that this format will be a strong voice that will send common messages about the importance of territorial integrity, especially in maritime economic zones.b
Mapping the terrain of the Eastern Mediterranean, he said it faces many challenges in today’s geopolitical landscape and that it is a region full of incredible promise.
In particular, he pointed out that as European countries move away from Russian energy sources, the Eastern Mediterranean has already proven its potential as part of the solution, and he said he was proud to have led Congress on this issue himself. He recalled that he has written and approved the law on the security and energy partnership in the Eastern Mediterranean, “which allows the creation of a new energy center that will help to fully exploit the energy potential of the region”.
In fact, he expressed the determination to continue supporting key regional infrastructure projects, such as the electrical interconnection of Europe with Africa and Asia, via Cyprus and Greece, expressing the belief that they will contribute to better connecting the Eastern Mediterranean with the Western Balkans, the Central Europe, Moldova and Ukraine.
He made special reference to the geostrategic and energy importance of Alexandroupoli. “It serves as an important US and NATO military hub and is now being transformed into an energy hub with a new liquefied natural gas facility,” he said, noting that it is “extremely gratifying to see that we had the foresight to foresee that Alexandroupolis could be a vital asset to Western security».
In fact, he pledged that the US will continue working with Ambassador Giorgos Tsounis and their Greek partners, to continue investing and developing to the point where it can truly become the Souda of the north.
“All these efforts will pay security dividends, making the region less dependent on the fossil fuels of Russia and other autocracies,” he added.
Also, the American senator emphasized the inter-parliamentary cooperation between Greece and the USA and its institutionalization, complementing the intergovernmental one.
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