The Greek Foreign Minister, Nikos Dendias, announced that his country will sign an agreement with Saudi Arabia to deliver, install and operate the Patriot missile system on Saudi territory.
He explained to the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Greek Parliament that this weapon “which we will give to Saudi Arabia is not an offensive weapon, but rather a defensive weapon,” stressing that his country “has never and will never pursue an aggressive policy.”
According to the agreement, which is close to signing, Athens will deploy its forces on the territory of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia within the limits of cooperation regarding the installation and operation of the mentioned missiles.
Greek media outlets had previously suggested, in mid-January, that Athens and Riyadh had reached a defense agreement under which the Greek armed forces would deliver the Patriot missile system to its Saudi counterpart. This came, according to the Greek newspaper “Ekathimerini”, weeks after the two countries ’foreign ministries agreed to strengthen Riyadh’s military air capabilities in light of the attacks on its facilities in recent months, during the visit of the Saudi Foreign Minister, Faisal bin Farhan, to Athens.
Ikathimerini added that this Greek trend towards military cooperation with Saudi Arabia is also due to American pressure to push Athens to have a military presence in the Gulf region. The newspaper pointed out that its sources say that Greece twice refused to respond to Washington’s demands to send a frigate to the Gulf waters to reinforce the naval military presence of Washington and its allies in the region under US command.
Source: The Greek Ekathimeirini Greek City Times / Saudi Arab News