“The upgrade of Turkish arsenal by the USA is a problem,” Greece’s Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias told the Parliament on Thursday, during the debate on the Mutual Defense Agreement between Greece and the USA scheduled to be ratified today.
In the shadow of the “rumored” decision of the Biden administration to ask the Congress to approve the upgrade of the Turkish F-16 fleet, Dendias said “the information we have is that a pre-notification was sent not for new aircraft, but for radar and missiles.”
He added that this did not concern an operation.
The Wall Street Journal revealed on Wednesday about the upgrade of the missiles air-to-air Amraam and Sidewinder as well as radar worth 400 million US Dollars, arsenal essential for the support of the existing Turkish F-16 fleet.
The WSJ revelations came just days before Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis leaves for Washington for a meeting with President Joe Biden and therefore stirred the Greek opposition..
Left-wing SYRIZA accused in a statement PM Mitsotakis that “he pursues =against the interests of Greek people – the most dangerous foreign policy since 1974, at the most critical moment for the developments in our wider region.”
Criticism came also from socialist KINAl with some veteran MP saying that this development would determine his stance in today’s vote.
Dendias stressed that “the upgrade of the Turkish arsenal is a problem”, as Ankara has issued a threat of war against Greece and is violating the country’s sovereignty.
“The government’s position is clear, No, as we say No to German submarines in Turkey, we will express this view with the support of all parties,” he said, adding that Parliament rejected the agreement proposed by the government.
Referring to the Turkish overflights, The Greek FM said that they are unacceptable, as well as the airspace violations because they are a challenge to national sovereignty and an imposition effort in the late Turkish campaign for demilitarization of the islands, which the State Department has condemned.