Athens, March 30, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
The extension of the united defence doctrine of Greece and Cyprus with the participation of Israel, coupled with the close cooperation of the US, will enable Greece to “exploit the wealth which for so many years has been hidden in the bowels of the earth”, said from New York, Greek Defence Minister Panos Kammenos, stressing:
“Our relations with the US should be even closer. And because there are speculations and various publications, do not be afraid, Greece does not change direction. Of course, Greece has other allies as well, but the priorities are those which have been selected many years ago”.
Speaking Sunday on the established event of the Federation of Greek Societies of New York, held the day before the parade for the Greek National Day of March 25, the Minister of National Defence referred to a number of issues, such as the “extension of the united Greece-Cyprus defence doctrine with the inclusion of Israel”. He pointed out that “with the cooperation of the US we can build a great alliance, which can give a security solution in the region”.
Addressing the expatriates, the Greek DM continued saying: “I would like to assure you that the Greek government will do everything for the Greeks to be united and fight for that which we won in 1821: our national independence. And our national independence is linked with democracy […] In this difficult moment for our nation, you can play an important role, just like in 1821, when the revolution started by the expatriates”.
Referring to the Greek-American relations, Kammenos stressed that “our real allies are those who have demonstrated their friendship. What do I mean by that? After World War II, the US were those with the Marshall Plan, without asking anything from Greece, absolutely nothing, managed to build the new Greece. If there is a commercial shipping now it is because the US gave us the Liberty.
The US, like a true ally, did not lent to Greece to get back interest. They supported Greece to develop and advance the western free world. And Greece has proved to be an excellent ally in NATO. Now is the time that Greece can still prove to be a pole of stability in East Mediterranean. The threats to the Western world at present is Islamic fundamentalism, which appears either under the flag of the Islamic State or terrorist organisations or in the form of different terrorist cases. So here is the important role our country can play”.
He went on to say that around “the end of May, I will have the pleasure to officially meet with the new US Defence Secretary Mr. Carter and thank him personally, as I thank the Diaspora for helping to arranging this first meeting with a Defence Minister of another country, to build on this policy”.
Speaking on the hydrocarbons and the EEZ he noted that “we will seek to also engage American companies in the mining process. Either officially the American state or US companies, because the presence of the US is important for the security of these investments”.
Speaking Friday at the Cyprus Federation of America conference, Kammenos said: “now is the time to expand the unified defence doctrine between Greece and Cyprus to include Israel and we should strengthened and further develop the cooperation with the American-Hebrew community.
“We can build a great alliance and with the help of the US it will mean that we can provide a security solution in the region. Why not grand the airspace Israel needs from Greece? From Israel to Cyprus to Crete. Why not have protection agreements of the large economic zone, the definition of which Greece will proceed as well? Why not also sign defence agreements?”, the Greek Defence Minister wondered.