Panagiotopoulos: The road to US approval of the upgrade of Turkish F-16s is long and uncertain


“The road from Turkey’s request for purchase and upgrade is long and uncertain American F-16 aircraft, “until it is approved by the US government,” the Secretary of Defense told Parliament. Nikos Panagiotopoulosrejecting the opposition’s claims that at the same time that the government is signing the Greek-American defense cooperation and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is visiting Washington, the US is stepping up Turkish aggression.

“Let us not discount things,” the minister suggested during the plenary debate on the ratification of the Greece-US mutual defense cooperation agreement.

“A lot has been heard in this debate about the agreement, such as that on the eve of the prime minister’s trip to the US, the Americans are turning a blind eye to the Turks and doing them a favor, and that we have miscalculated.”

“There is a request from Turkey to buy 40 new F-16s and upgrade another 80 F-16s. But there is a long way to go from this request of Turkey to its approval. When we know – and the Turkish Minister of Defense, Hulusi Akar himself – states that the road is long and uncertain. “Let us not anticipate that the agreement will be completed and let us not play a game of impressions once again”, Mr. Panagiotopoulos stated characteristically.

The Minister of National Defense, defended the agreement for upgrading the Greek-American relations, calling on those who question it to ask the people who historically, while belonging to other camps, today joined the NATO camp, as he said.

“Outside the dance, you speak easily and as if superfluous conversations. However, the country’s effort, on a very consistent plan for the elaboration and implementation of the upgrade of the Greek-US relations, continues and will continue with the sense of urgency. We know which camp we belong to. And fortunately we belong to this camp. For those who want more details, contact those who historically belonged to other camps and today have joined the NATO camp and are its most fanatical supporters. The peoples to the north and the center of Europe “, underlined Mr. Panagiotopoulos.

The Minister of National Defense emphasized the upgrade of the port of Alexandroupolis, which, as he said, is now becoming a key geostrategic axis.

“I’m disappointed today, not because the investment will be ratified, but because it will not be ratified by a large majority.

Americans will be unpleasantly surprised. They will probably be disappointed. However, it is a given that the people in Evros will also be disappointed by this attitude. The investment that is currently being made in Alexandroupolis, is a real cosmogony for the once last region. “And I do not understand why there are factions within the Greek Parliament that do not support it,” he said.

As he stressed, “for the Americans, Greece is now the most basic, and the most reliable consistent partner in the region, because they know what to expect and they know that it is the one in which it is worth investing”.

“There is an open discussion taking place in the ears of partners, who are ready to give a solution. Because at the moment, Greece is recognized as the most reliable and consistent partner in the region. Maybe because they know what to expect from us. It’s not bad to be predictable.

Adventure and the mood for geopolitical speculation is bad. “It’s time, not to petrify our geopolitical correlations, but to bet,” he said.

Also, Mr. Panagiotopoulos pointed out that the relocation of MEA MQ-9 will take place soon to be installed with the prospect of permanent installation and there is an open possibility for our country to procure this type, noting that this is one of the parameters of Greek-American relations.

“We are negotiating in the context of surplus material, BLACK HAWK helicopters and coastal Island patrols. “We have others that are under study and discussion, and are part of the wider Greek-American debate on defense, for which the military staffs are preparing a relevant proposal,” said the Minister of National Defense.

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