WASHINGTON, July 31, 2013 – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel welcomed Greek Defense Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos to the Pentagon yesterday, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said.
“Secretary Hagel thanked Minister Avramopoulos for Greece’s continued hosting of U.S. forces at Naval Support Activity at Souda Bay,” Little said in a statement summarizing the meeting. “Souda Bay is a key enabler of U.S. strategic objectives in the region, the importance of which became apparent during Operation Unified Protector in Libya.”
Hagel praised Greece’s contributions to regional security in the Balkans and expressed appreciation for Greece’s support and cooperation in NATO, Little said. The secretary and Avramopoulos discussed issues of mutual strategic importance in the Mediterranean, Middle East and North Africa, including Egypt and Syria, he added.
Avramopoulos highlighted the partnership between the United States and Greece and pledged to maintain the strong relationship between the two allies, the press secretary said.
“Secretary Hagel and Minister Avramopoulos agreed to continue joint military training, exchanges, and high level defense consultations, and committed to recognizing these activities through development of a U.S.-Greece Defense Cooperation Roadmap,” Little said.