Free military aid and F-35 approval from US to Greece expected "in hours" - Blinken's letter to Mitsotakis

Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Antony Blinken

The official letter from the State Department to Congress is a matter of hours - Greece will be the first country in the region after Israel to acquire the ultra-modern fighter jets of the fifth-generation

According to Proto Thema, it is only a matter of hours before the State Department sends Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis the official letter for the sale of the F-35 to Greece, a move which will lead to the upgrading of the capabilities of the Air Force and will ensure air superiority.

According to the outlet, the commitment that the sale of F-35s to Greece will proceed immediately was given at the highest level in the meeting between Prime Minister Mr Mitsotakis and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Chania.

The package also includes free military aid, and the letter is expected to be sent to Congress. Congress is then expected to approve the sale of the F-35 through the tacit process, and after Greece accepts the LOA, negotiations will begin for the conclusion of the contract, which will include the schedules, the level of equipment, and the method of financing.

Greece will be the first country in the region after Israel to acquire the state-of-the-art fifth-generation fighter jets, which, together with the Rafale and upgraded F-16s, will create one of the most powerful air forces in the wider region.

Washington also used the sale of F-35s to Greece as a pressure lever to bend Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Blinken himself gave the warning during his visit to Istanbul, who made it clear that if the process is not completed, approval of Sweden's accession to NATO immediately, then Washington will proceed to approve the agreement for the sale of F-35s to Greece—a move which would be disastrous for Turkey which would risk being left with only the old F-16s.

After the approval of Sweden's accession to NATO by Turkey, the big thorn remains the stance of Congress, but the American side believes that by promoting the F-35 package to Greece, the concerns of members of the Senate and the Parliament for the security of Greece, while it is known that several members of Congress also request written guarantees that the F16s will not be used against allied countries.

A diplomatic source with knowledge of the talks with Washington said yesterday that it was "a matter of time" before the F-35 letter went to Congress and set a concrete framework for defence relations with the US, stressing that "No one can stop the sale of US defence equipment to third countries, for Greece it is important to ensure that any such equipment will not be used against it and also Greece seeks to maximise its own benefits which of course concern the acquisition of the fifth generation fighter F-35 but also that he acquires other defence material from the Americans."

READ MORE: Turkish military expert proposes flooding Greece will illegal immigrants to stop F-16 upgrades.

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