Türkiye is closely followings developments regarding the United States’ attempts to establish a new base and enhance its military presence on the Aegean islands, say sources from the Turkish Defense Ministry.
The U.S. House of Representatives on Aug. 1 added an article to the draft of the 2024 defense budget bill to submit a research report for the establishment of new U.S. bases in Greece, especially on the Aegean islands.
According to daily Milliyet, sources stressed that this effort has not yet reached a definitive decision and has not been included in the final annual military budget bill.
On the other hand, the ministry is closely following the U.S.’ attempt to establish a base on the Aegean islands, just as it tracks all developments related to defense and security around the country, the sources noted.
Referring to the confidence-building meetings with Greece, the sources emphasized that both sides are making efforts to sustain the recent positive atmosphere between Türkiye and Greece.
Touching upon the Black Sea grain deal that faced setbacks when Russia withdrew on July 17, they stated that all relevant ministries and institutions are holding talks to find a solution to this deadlock.
“As one of the countries with the longest coast in the Black Sea, we have always expressed our support for the riparian countries to live in peace, dialogue, tranquility and prosperity. We believe that the current security balance should be maintained within the framework of the principle of regional ownership.”
With the proposal of New York Rep. Grace Meng, an amendment regarding the U.S. bases in Greece was added to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which included the annual defense expenditures.
The amendment came as U.S. forces were granted access to five additional military bases in Greece under the expanded defense cooperation agreement signed by the two countries in October 2021.
On the other hand, Greek media announced the amendment with the headlines such as “American landing on the islands” and “House of Representatives suggests establishing a new base in the Aegean.”