Defence minister Kammenos meets U.S. counterpart James Mattis

Greek Defence Minister Panos Kammenos on Friday said predicted the start of a new era in Greek-U.S. relations in defence, in statements after his meeting with U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis in Washington.

According to Kammenos, the new Trump administration understood the special role of the nation-state and the ability of states “with history and special ties to develop relations.”

“They are well aware that Greece’s close and historic cooperation with Israel and its ability to ‘speak the same language’ as the Arab countries will help us work for peace and democracy, not just for ourselves but for the wider region,” he added, while something similar was true in the Balkans.

Regarding Turkish provocations in the Aegean, Kammenos said there was agreement that “no new fronts” should be opened in the region. “We already have open fronts in Libya and Syria. Care must be taken so as not to create issues where there are none,” he said, while noting that the U.S. side was aware of the Turkish activity.

Kammenos said that he had invited Mattis to visit Greece and that he had accepted the invitation.

The meeting focused on bilateral cooperation, NATO and the base in Souda and initiatives Greece can undertake in the broader Mediterranean region with third countries to create a “shield of stability and cooperation” with Israel, Cyprus, Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates to the south and east and with Bulgaria and Romania in the north.