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Greece set to boost military cooperation with France: Greek PM Mitsotakis

Published: Updated:

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Monday that Greece has been in talks with France to boost their defense alliance as Athens seeks to build up its armed forces.

After finalizing a 2.5 billion euros agreement with long-standing ally France for the purchase of 18 Dassault-made Rafale figther jets last year, Mitsotakis said this month that Greece would buy another six Rafale jets from Paris.

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France had been also expected to put in proposals to supply new frigates to Athens.

Asked if Greece was close to a defense deal with France, Mitsotakis, who is in Paris, told Greek state television: “There will be announcements tomorrow morning”.

“We’re heading towards a substantial deepening of our strategic cooperation between Greece and France,” he said.

Mitsotakis and French President Emmanuel Macron were due to make joint statements in Paris on Tuesday.

Greece has been often embroiled in tensions with neighboring Turkey over a range of issues, from competing claims over hydrocarbon resources in the Aegean Sea to demilitarization of islands.

Mitsotakis said that Greece did not want to start an “armaments race” but the country had to modernize its armed forces after a decade-long financial crisis.

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