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DEF IX - Ambassador Tsunis: US committed to upgrade of Greek military, as its supports NATO's SE flan

Featured DEF IX - Ambassador Tsunis: US committed to upgrade of Greek military, as its supports NATO's SE flan

The commitment of the USA to the modernization of the Greek military is demonstrated by the cooperation of the two countries in the field of defense, according to what Giorgos Tsunis said from the 9th Delphi Economic Forum .

Asked about the next steps, after yesterday's announcement of the sending of the letter of offer and acceptance by the competent American authorities, regarding the supply of F-35 fighters to Greece, Mr. Tsounis, after referring in detail to the bilateral defense cooperation, he noted that this "shows the commitment of the US to the modernization of the Greek army, as it is a very important partner in NATO".

 As he characteristically said, Greece supports the south-eastern wing of NATO and this is very important.

Asked, moreover, whether the Greeks have reaon to be concerned about the acquisition of F16s by Turkey, Mr. Tsounis pointed out that "Turkey has had F16s for decades, as has Greece", and noted that what they should to focus on is the fact that "there has been a significant warming in relations between our two NATO partners".

"Relations between Greece and Turkey have improved significantly" he underlined, and added: "We encourage both of our NATO allies to continue this course. No one benefits more from a peaceful and stable region than Greece and Turkey. There is a common interest and it is also in the US interest that both of our NATO allies continue this approach. I think everyone would like to see the current run continue."

Tsunis: The discussions on the co-production of Constellation frigates are very important
Regarding the discussions on the co-production of seven Constellation frigates, he confirmed that these are very important discussions, which he expressed optimism that they will turn into action in the near future.

“It is very exciting that Greece will participate at a very high level in a possible co-production in Greece of Constellation frigates. This is a very big issue. I can't specify a date, when it will start, but these discussions are honest and serious", emphasized Mr. Tsounis.

When asked if there is still American interest in investing in Greece, Mr. Tsunis replied: "The leading American companies have discovered Greece. Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) are flowing into Greece, not only from the USA but also from other Western countries and this is very important, because this shows prosperity".

As the American ambassador characteristically said, "Greece has the most important thing that American companies are looking for, the intellectual capital".

Regarding bilateral relations, Mr. Tsunis said that "during the last four Greek governments, relations have developed rapidly" and he cannot recall another moment in the history of bilateral relations that there was this degree of cooperation and friendship. "We are each other's strategic partners in the region," he stressed.

"The United States," he added, "considers Greece an essential NATO ally, a geostrategic partner. It's a relationship that has deepened and strengthened over the years."

Tsunis: "Get rid of Russian dependence on energy"
Mr. Tsunis also referred to the very important energy projects that have either been completed or are about to be completed in Greek territory, but also to the great importance that the United States attaches to the Vertical Corridor.

He emphasized, at the same time, that it is very important to get rid of Russian dependence in the energy sector and to limit Russia's ability to cause harm by "weaponizing" energy. "It is energy exports that drive Russia's ability to invade sovereign nations," he emphasized.

For energy projects such as the FSRU in Alexandroupoli, TAP, the Greek-Bulgarian Interconnector Natural Gas Pipeline et al., said that the existing infrastructure combined with Greece's geographical location would enable it to export 9 billion bcm soon, while he noted that Greece occupies an important position in the effort for an energy transition but also for getting rid of carbon, pointing out that last year 59% of electricity in Greece came from Renewable Energy Sources, while by 2027 it will reach 80% . In this context, he underlined that renewable energy sources are very important for divestment from carbon and are "running" at a fast pace.

"Greece is in the top ten in renewable energy sources and is a pioneer in getting rid of carbon," noted Mr. Tsunis.

"There is no rift with Israel"
In response to a related question, the American ambassador was categorical that there is no rift between the US and Israel.

“Israel has a very strong ally in the United States and there is no rift. Since the invasion (by Hamas) on October 7, the US has been very clear that Israel has the right to defend itself and that the way it was done matters," said Mr. Tsunis.

He pointed out that discussions are ongoing on the transfer of humanitarian aid to Gaza and the release of hostages