German Defence Minister, Ursula von der Leyen and her Greek counterpart, Evangelos Apostolakis held meetings at the Greek Ministry of Defence on Tuesday evening where they reaffirmed their strong relations and co-operation.
During their meeting, the Ministers pledged to reinforce defence collaboration between Greece and Germany bilaterally but also at EU and NATO level, global and regional developments, as well as the 30 programs of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) European defence boost project.
Referencing the Prespes Agreement, the Greek Defence Minister said that was a paradigm of solving a long-standing disputes peacefully, while von der Leyen added how this is “a truly European agreement, turning a problem to a good opportunity.”
Apostolakis emphasised that Greece is ready to support the transformation of North Macedonia’s armed forces, ahead of the neighboring country’s NATO accession.
The Greek Defence Minister thanked his German counterpart for the help offered to Greece when dealing with and managing the refugee crisis, not only in terms of providing resources and technical help, but also in how Germany, which is the operational head of NATO flotillas in the Aegean Sea, reduced the influx of refugees coming into Greece from the Turkish coast.
Finally, the German and Greek Defence Ministers agreed to set up a bilateral team that will comb through the details of the common ground in the framework of the PESCO project, a policy collaboration set up by the EU Global Strategy for Foreign and Security Policy (EUGS), which aims to maintain a process of closer cooperation in security and defence among Greece, Germany and other EU member states.