The United States and Greece on signed an upgraded defense cooperation agreement, which American Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described as critical to responding to new security challenges in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.
The deal allows for increased joint U.S.-Greece and NATO activity at three military bases in Larissa, Stefanovikio, and Alexandroupoli, as well as significant infrastructure and other improvements at the Souda Bay naval base outside of Hania, on the island of Crete.
“Greece can play an important strategic role here in the region,” Pompeo told Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis during an exchange.
“This is a dynamic region, with lots going on, lots of change taking place, and we are very confident that together, we can work to ensure that Greece can be a pillar for stability in this region.”
Demonstrations that once numbered tens of thousands of people when U.S. officials visited now numbered in the few thousand people.
Two protests were staged in Athens against Pompeo’s meeting Saturday. The largest, by pro-communist trade unionists, was attended by 5,000 people, according to local police.
Anti-American demonstrators also doused the statue of U.S. President Harry Truman with red paint.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s Remarks at Stavros Niarchos Cultural Center
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