Greek political leaders oppose upgrading defense cooperation with U.S.

Source: Xinhua| 2020-01-11 03:43:02|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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ATHENS, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- Greek political party leaders expressed concern over tensions in the Mediterranean Sea and the Middle East and opposed the upgrading of Greece's defense cooperation with the U.S. during a series of meetings with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Friday.

Mitsotakis held a round of separate talks with the opposition party leaders to brief them on the results of his recent visit to Washington and exchange views on "issues of national significance," according to an e-mailed press statement issued by his office.

"I do not think that we will have substantial diverging views," said Mitsotakis before the camera of Greek national broadcaster ERT during his meeting with the center-Left Movement For Change (KINAL-Kinima Allagis) leader Fofi Gennimata.

Based on the remarks political leaders made on ERT's camera after the meetings, intra-party consensus is still sought regarding Athens' cooperation with the U.S., in particular in a period of increased frictions in the region after the new U.S-Iran crisis and the recent developments on Iraqi soil.

"I expressed our concern over the growing tension in the region. I asked the Prime Minister for the suspension of the vote on the bill regarding the upgrading of Greece's defense cooperation with the United States. We should not repeat the reckless overspending in defense now that we have exited the crisis," said Alexis Tsipras, leader of main opposition Radical Left SYRIZA party.

"We are talking, while the Mediterranean is on fire. Dependence only on the USA is a mistake. The world, the planet is multi-polar and we should advance our relations with other countries as well. There is China, there is Russia, there is Germany, others will note, as well as India which is an emerging power," said Kyriakos Velopoulos, leader of the right-wing Greek Solution (Elliniki Lysi).

"Greece should not be considered a given ally by anyone. Trump as President does not respect the international law; we have witnessed what he has done in Iraq," Velopoulos said.

The prime minister's talks with political party leaders will close on Monday.