The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (Order of AHEPA) welcomes the introduction of bipartisan legislation aimed to bolster the United States’ defense partnership with longtime NATO ally, Greece, announced Supreme President George G. Horiates.
U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), a senior member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Committee, introduced the “U.S.-Greece Defense and Interparliamentary Partnership Act of 2021,” June 9, 2021.
According to a statement from Chairman Menendez, the legislation boosts “support for Greek military modernization, authorizing new transfers of American military equipment, and fostering increased multilateral engagement among Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and the United States.”
Supreme President Horiates said, “A secure and stable Eastern Mediterranean is a priority. In Greece, the United States has a dependable and steady ally in defense and security cooperation. We sincerely thank Chairman Menendez and Senator Rubio for spearheading legislation that recognizes this fact and builds upon it by taking the appropriate measures to authorize critical resources that enhance U.S. defense cooperation with Greece and maintain a lasting U.S. partnership in the Eastern Mediterranean. We strongly support this significant bill and call for the Senate to pass it swiftly.”
About the Legislation
Chairman Menendez’s statement cites the following as key provisions of the legislation:
Support for Greek Military Modernization:Authorizes European Recapitalization Incentive Program (ERIP) assistance to Greece to support Greece’s transition away from Russian-produced military equipmentAuthorizes $1 million per year in International Military Education and Training (IMET) assistance for Greece for FY2022 – 2026Expresses the Sense of Congress that the U.S. should provide direct loans to Greece for the procurement of defense articles, defense services, and design and construction services pursuant to the further development of Greece’s military forceTransfer of American Military Equipment to Greece:Authorizes expedited delivery of any future F-35 aircraft ordered by GreeceRequires that the delivery of excess defense articles to Greece be given the same priority as that given other countries and regionsRequires the Secretary of Defense, with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, to submit a report to Congress on Greece’s defense needs and how the United States will seek to address such needs through transfers of excess defense equipment to GreeceParliamentary Engagement within the 3+1 Framework:Authorizes the establishment of an interparliamentary group among Cyprus, Greece, Israel and the United States to serve as the legislative component of the 3+1 process launched among the governments in March 2019