Selin ATAY-TDO- French Defence Minister Florence Parly met with Greek counterpart Nikos Panayiotopoulos at the Greek Defence Ministry.

French Defense Minister Parly and Greek Defense Minister Panayiotopoulos signed a formal agreement for 18 Rafale fighter jets that Greece decided to buy from France. After their talks in Athens, the defence ministers of the two countries held a joint press conference.

At a press conference, Panayiotopoulos said that the Greek Air Force will be significantly strengthened by the purchase of Rafale fighter jets, and that this agreement is an important step towards deepening the two countries ' defence co-operation. Panayiotopoulos said the agreement " will contribute to increasing the capacity and deterrent power of the Greek Air Force and armed forces, tasked with defending the territorial integrity and sovereign rights of his country. Also, during his speech, the Greek Defense Minister said that" this is the first time that negotiations on a complex and large armament program have developed so quickly and regularly."

In his speech at the press conference, French Defense Minister Parly said that Greece was the first country in Europe to buy these planes, and Athens and Paris shared many things in common. In his speech, Parly shared the hope that French warships would be involved in the renewal of the Greek naval forces, and announced that a proposal on this issue would be submitted to Athens very soon.

The bill envisioning the purchase of eighteen Rafale fighter jets from France was approved by the Greek Parliament on 14 January 2021. Six new and twelve second-hand Rafale fighter jets will be purchased from France for 2.3 billion euros, the Athens government said in a statement. The government announced that the first delivery from France would be received in July, with the arrival of all eighteen aircraft in the country by mid-2023.

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