Demonstrators march in front of the Greek Parliament holding banners against the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Athens, Greece, on Oct. 5, 2019. Visiting U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with demonstrations here on Saturday after he signed an updated agreement in defense with the Greek government. (Xinhua/Marios Lolos)
ATHENS, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- Visiting U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with demonstrations here on Saturday after he signed an updated agreement in defense with the Greek government.
Demonstrations were held in Greek cities against the extension of the defense agreement between the two countries.
Demonstrators gathered at Syntagma square in Athens, holding banners reading "Pompeo go home -- No to the Greece-USA agreement."
"The signing of a new agreement between Greece and USA and particularly the preservation and extension of the U.S. military bases in Greece will bring only higher insecurity to the Greek people and higher destabilization in the region," Dimitris Koutsoumpas, general-secretary of the Greek Communist Party (KKE), said during the rally.
Groups of protesters marching to the U.S. Embassy in Athens clashed with police, who fired tear gas to disperse the crowds. Separate protests were also held in Thessaloniki, the country's second largest.
On Saturday, Pompeo and Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias signed the Protocol of Amendment to the Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement (MDCA), establishing the operational framework of the U.S. presence at the northern Greek port of Alexandroupoli.