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Greece to provide Patriot air defense system to Saudi Arabia

The agreement came during the visit of Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias to Riyadh.

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Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias went to Saudi Arabia to hold official talks with top Saudi officials. Within the scope of his visit, Dendias came together with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. According to the statement issued following the meeting, the Crown Prince and the Greek Foreign Minister discussed the ways of cooperation in various fields as well as the latest developments in the region.

Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Defense Minister Khalid bin Salman, Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan, and Greek Defense Minister Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos as well as Greece’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Alexis Konstantopoulos attended the meeting, as well.

After the meeting, it was announced that Greece and Saudi Arabia signed a defense cooperation agreement. According to this, Greece will lend a Patriot air defense system to Saudi Arabia to protect critical energy facilities.

The Greek Minister announced the agreement, saying “We signed an agreement to move a Patriot batter here in Saudi Arabia. This is a big step for our country regarding cooperation with the Gulf countries and also a contribution to the wider security of the energy sources for the West.”

In February 2021, the Greek Foreign Minister mentioned that the two countries are close to signing a Status of Forces Agreement that would enable Greek military presence in Saudi Arabia as long as the Patriot systems stay in the Kingdom.

Signing such an agreement had been discussed during Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan’s visit to Greece in January, Dendias stated.

The move came amid Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi group’s offensives, targeting oil facilities, having intensified.

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