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Immediate Release

Readout of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III's Meeting With Greek Minister of Defense Nikos Panagiotopoulos

Attributed to Acting Pentagon Press Secretary Todd Breasseale:

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III met Greece's Minister of Defense Nikos Panagiotopoulos today at the Pentagon to discuss the growing defense partnership between the United States and Greece and the close cooperation between our two countries on basing, defense modernization and collective defense, particularly in the face of Russia's aggression toward Ukraine.  The Secretary specifically thanked Minister Panagiotopoulos for Greece's substantial support to Ukraine to defend itself from Russia's brutal and unprovoked invasion.  
 
Secretary Austin shared appreciation for Greece hosting U.S. forces at Souda Bay as well as the recent expansion of our activities there and other locations in Greece.  Secretary Austin also thanked Greece for the use of the Port of Alexandropoulis which has been instrumental in moving U.S. forces and equipment to and through NATO's Eastern Flank.  
 
The leaders also discussed the need to reduce tensions in the Aegean through constructive dialogue. Noting he would be speaking by phone with Turkish Minister of Defense Akar in the coming days, the Secretary urged that both sides explore pragmatic solutions to long-standing disputes.  
 
Secretary Austin thanked Greece for consistently exceeding its NATO defense spending and modernization commitments, which will enhance interoperability between our two militaries.