US-Greece Strategic Dialogue: US supports plan to modernize Greek defense

The importance of US-Greece strategic dialogue as a framework that defines bilateral cooperation between Washington and Athens was underlined by US Assistant Secretary of State Joshua Huck.

Speaking to Greek correspondents on Tuesday, ahead of the new round of the Strategic Dialogue that will take place on Friday in Washington, the US Secretary of State noted that Greek-US relations were at a historically high point.

He attributed this success to the effort being made on both sides of the Atlantic. As far as Greece is concerned, Huck referred widely to its broader geopolitical role as well as to the diplomatic initiatives it has undertaken in the region. As he noted, “Greece is not just a stable partner, but is a country that promotes stability in the region.”

F-35 fighters and modernizing Greek defense capabilities

Huck said that the sale of fifth generation fighter jets to Greece was a positive development for US-Greece defense cooperation and for NATO, estimating that the F-35s will strengthen Greece’s defense capabilities and at the same time increase the overall defense readiness of the Alliance.

He referred to the fact that the US supports a broader plan to modernize Greek defense capabilities. “However, there is not only support for Greece in the air, but there is support at sea and on land. Therefore, we are not only talking about strengthening the air force, but we are talking about a broader plan to modernize Greek defense capabilities, which is part of an already very strong defense relationship,” he noted.

The US will continue to promote bilateral relations with the Republic of Cyprus. “We do not support a two-state solution, 100%,” Huck said.

With this phrase, he made it clear that the US remains completely opposed to a solution dividing the island, which has recently been promoted by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In this context, he reiterated Washington’s firm position on the Cyprus solution:

“We continue to support a comprehensive Cypriot-led and UN-facilitated settlement that will lead to the reunification of the island. We very firmly support a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality for all Cypriots. Clearly, nothing has changed (in our position).”