Florence Parly, the French protection minister, signed the settlement in Athens to ship 12 used and 6 new plane constructed by Dassault Aviation over two years, beginning in July.

AP

PUBLISHED ON JAN 25, 2021 08:10 PM IST

Greece signed a 2.three billion-euro ($2.eight billion) take care of France on Monday to buy 18 Rafale fighter jets, as tensions stay excessive with neighbor Turkey.

Florence Parly, the French protection minister, signed the settlement in Athens to ship 12 used and 6 new plane constructed by Dassault Aviation over two years, beginning in July.

France has sided with Greece in a dispute over boundaries within the Aegean Sea and japanese Mediterranean that has introduced NATO members Greece and Turkey to the brink of battle a number of instances in current many years.

Tension spiked once more final summer time when a Turkish exploration mission in disputed waters triggered a harmful army build-up.

Greece and Turkey have agreed to restart talks geared toward resolving the dispute peacefully. Senior diplomats from the 2 international locations met in Istanbul Monday to renew the method that had been interrupted for almost 5 years.

But Athens says it should proceed a multibillion-euro program to improve its army following years of cuts as a result of nation’s monetary disaster.

France and the United States are in competitors to offer the Greek navy with new frigates, whereas Greece’s authorities not too long ago permitted plans to cooperate with Israeli protection electronics agency Elbit Systems to create a brand new army flight academy in southern Greece.

“The upgrade in the capabilities of the Hellenic Air Force by means of both the acquisition of new fighter aircraft and the new state-of-the-art training center is critical for Greece to present a credible deterrence,” Michael Tanchum, a senior fellow on the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy, advised The Associated Press.

“It also provides Athens an enhanced ability to exercise more strategic autonomy when EU and NATO frameworks are deemed inadequate, making Greece more of a player in its own right.”

Starting in May, obligatory nationwide service within the Greek Armed Forces will probably be elevated from 9 to 12 months to spice up the variety of folks serving in uniform. While in Athens, Parly may even holding talks with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

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