ATHENS, Greece --- Greece's parliament is set to ratify an agreement with the United States for a major expansion of military cooperation as it faces an escalation of tensions with neighboring Turkey.
Lawmakers from the governing center-right party said they would vote later Thursday to ratify the Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement signed in October by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a visit to Athens.
The deal provides for increased joint U.S.-Greece and NATO activities at Greek military bases and facilities in Larissa, Stefanovikio, and Alexandroupolis, in central and northern Greece, as well as infrastructure and other improvements at the Souda Bay U.S. naval base on the island of Crete.
The U.S. Air Force is already operating MQ-9 Reaper drones out of Larissa airbase.
The government has expressed interest in purchasing MQ-9 Guardian drones and well as joining the F-35 fighter program at a later date. The plans were discussed at a White House visit earlier this month by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. (end of excerpt)
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