The US regime and Greece have agreed on the text of a new document which will modify the existing bilateral Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement (MDCA) dating from 1990.
The current plan is to have this document signed during US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s early October visit to Athens.
The US defense relationship with Greece is based on the 1990 MDCA, as well the NATO Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) regulating personnel using the important NATO facilities around Greece, primarily Souda Bay in Crete.
The full text of the new deal is unknown at this point, but the new provisions will serve to increase Greece’s strategic importance to both the USA and NATO.
However, the USA has been reluctant to invest in costly upgrades, specifically at the Souda Bay facility (i.e. a major runway expansion) without the longer time frame the new agreement provides.
The deal will lay out the operational framework of the US presence at the northern Greek port of Alexandroupolis on the border with Turkey; it is not clear if this is a year-round US deployment or seasonal.
This city is a highly strategic pipeline transit point and significantly closer than other US military facilities to the vitally important Bosporus Strait, which separates Europe from the Asia Minor.
The new agreement will in almost all eventualities require full parliamentary ratification, which has been problematic in earlier years when anti-Americanism in Greece was at higher levels.
New Europe / ABC Flash Point News 2019.