The acquisition of the F-35s by the HAF with as much as possible acceleration of the procedures with at the same time favorable financial terms, as Greece emphasizes at every opportunity, will constitute a de facto vote of confidence in the firm attitude of Athens.
The image of the American stealth fighter F-35 inside the hangar of the 115th Fighter Wing in Souda with the Greek flag in the background was without a doubt one of the most powerful messages in terms of symbolism that Washington has ever sent to Athens and Ankara. The 5th generation aircraft which Turkey lost through its hands and now is the spoils of Greece with the consent of the Americans, seals in the most emphatic way the line of support for Athens and the removal of the USA from the dangerous, uncontrolled and revisionist Turkey .
At the same time that the “Poseidon Rage 2022” exercise in Souda is turning into yet another rap by the US towards Tayyip Erdogan on the other side of the Atlantic, the Minister of National Defense Nikos Panagiotopoulos presented to his American counterpart Lloyd Austin the unacceptable but indicative of Turkish intentions map of Gray Wolf Bakhtseli, but also a series of facts, documents and statements of Turkish officials which show why Athens considers “ally” Turkey a threat even to its Territorial Sovereignty. With Newpost’s information stating that the American minister did not hide his concern and pledged to communicate with Hulusi Akar in order to lower the tone and change the “warlike” climate for which Ankara is clearly responsible. With Lloyd Austin standing by the strong relationship with Greece stressing that “the defense relationship between the US and Greece has never been stronger. The updated U.S.-Greece Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement reflects our nation’s unwavering commitment to shared peace and security and has enabled the expansion of American forces in Greece in support of United States and NATO objectives for strategic access to the region.”
Both in his meeting with his American counterpart in the Pentagon and in the one with the pillar of the Greek positions, head of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Congress, Bob Menendez, the Greek minister emphasized the revisionist and dangerous role of Turkey for security in the region, stating that Greece is a key hub for supporting and projecting an allied presence in a region facing various forms of revisionism. Revisionism that either takes the form of challenging basic rules governing the international legal order or expresses itself as seeking to change internationally recognized borders – or both as is often the case – poses a major threat to the interests of Greece and the US and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in general. Therefore revisionism of any kind is against stability. Revisionism must not prevail.”
The acquisition of the F-35s by the HAF with as much as possible acceleration of the procedures with at the same time favorable financial terms as Greece emphasizes at every opportunity will constitute a de facto vote of confidence in the firm attitude of Athens – as was also demonstrated in what followed the Russian invasion of Ukraine -and simultaneous condemnation of Ankara’s dangerous and utilitarian policy. It was strongly supported by the Chief of the General Defense Forces General Konstantinos Floros during his recent visit to the USA, and repeated by the Minister of National Defense Nikos Panagiotopoulos in every contact he has in America.
Already Ankara’s reactions to the presence of the American F-35s in Souda reveal the irritation of the neighbors and the impasse they have reached. With the information stating that we will soon see Stealth fighters landing again on Greek soil for new exercises with the Greek Armed Forces.