Mike Pompeo due in Athens amid spiralling tensions between Greece and Turkey



a man standing next to a body of water: Photograph: AP


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Photograph: AP

Like others in the Greek officer class, former V-Adm Vasilios Martzoukos believes in the power of military might. In a career punctuated by crises with Turkey, the threat of armed conflict reinforced his conviction, long ago, that “if you want peace, you prepare for war”.

“It’s the strange thing about deterrence,” the retired admiral said. “The more you don’t want war, the more you have to appear ready for it.”

Rarely has the adage seemed more compelling. Against a backdrop of spiralling tensions with Ankara, intense international diplomacy, and prospective talks to break the deadlock, Athens has announced it will be bolstering the country’s military capabilities.

The weapons programme, the biggest in decades, will see Greece buy fighter planes, frigates, helicopters and missile systems.

In addition to 18-French-made Rafale jets and four multi-purpose frigates, older warplanes and fighting vessels will be upgraded, said

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Greece to boost military amid tensions with Turkey

ATHENS, Greece — Greece will bolster its military with new arms, more personnel and by developing the country’s defense industry, the government said Monday, as a tense standoff with neighboring Turkey has led to concerns of open conflict between the two NATO allies.

Ankara is facing off against Greece and Cyprus over oil and gas exploration rights in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Greece and Turkey have deployed naval and air forces to assert their competing claims.

“The Turkish leadership is unleashing, on a near daily basis, threats of war and makes provocative statements against Greece,” Greek government spokesman Stelios Petsas said. “We respond with political, diplomatic and operational readiness, determined to do whatever is necessary to protect our sovereign rights.”

Petsas said Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis would be announcing details of plans to upgrade the country’s military during his annual state of the economy speech on Saturday.

Last week, Greece

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Greece to boost military amid tensions with neighbor Turkey

Greece says it will be bolstering its military with new arms, more personnel and by developing the country’s defense industry

ATHENS, Greece — Greece will bolster its military with new arms, more personnel and by developing the country’s defense industry, the government said Monday, as a tense standoff with neighboring Turkey has led to concerns of open conflict between the two NATO allies.

“The Turkish leadership is unleashing, on a near daily basis, threats of war and makes provocative statements against Greece,” Greek government spokesman Stelios Petsas said. “We respond with political, diplomatic and

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