Blinken Letter | US commitment to protect Greece’s territorial integrity – The content
Defence Redefined
Published on 15/10/2021 at 17:00

Greece’s role as a regional leader is at the heart of the letter sent by US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, to the Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis. The letter of the head of American diplomacy accompanies the Mutual Defence Cooperation Agreement (MDCA) signed yesterday at the State Department.

In the letter, Mr. Blinken describes our country as a “regional leader” and a “pillar of stability”, a statement that suggests the belief that Greece can play a catalytic role in promoting the European perspective of the Western Balkans, but also act as a factor of stability in the wider Middle East region. At the same time, the letter confirms the excellent bilateral relations, which, as he states, “have reached new heights”.

Commitment to mutual protection of sovereignty and territorial integrity from threats or armed attack  

This mutual commitment is also included in the text of the Mutual Defence Cooperation Agreement. Nevertheless, diplomatic sources acknowledge its importance in the Blinken letter, since, as they explain, it is repeated in a unilateral political text, this time exclusively binding on the United States. In fact, the letter states that the new agreement “extends our strategic defence partnership” and “demonstrates in practice our firm determination to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity against threatening actions and armed attacks.”

Also read: International Exercise “ALEXANDER THE GREAT” | Greek – US Special Operations Forces Joint Training

Respect for Greece’s sovereign rights under International Law of the Sea

The Blinken letter goes one step further, as for the first time the US makes explicit reference to the need to respect not only the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Greece, but also the sovereign rights deriving from the International Law of the Sea. Diplomatic sources evaluate this report as an extremely important new element, which recognizes and demands the full respect of the sovereign rights of Greece in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and its continental shelf. 

Although the US has not signed the Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Greek side considers that the American factor recognizes that the International Law of the Sea as part of customary law, is binding on all countries and governs the delimitation of maritime zones.  

Possibility of deployment of American forces on Greek islands beyond Crete

The United States emphasizes that the American forces will be able to conduct and carry out exercises, both in mainland Greece and on the islands. Diplomatic sources point out that this is a politically binding move, which means that the US de facto recognizes the full sovereignty of Greece on the islands and the possibility of their militarization.

Washington-Athens: Cooperation on Common Values 

Finally, the letter refers to the joint commitment of Greece and the United States to the principles of freedom, democracy, the rule of law, human rights and social progress. As noted, this common value framework is reflected in the renewed Mutual Defence Cooperation Agreement.

Source: AMNA

Also read: Joint Greek – US Aeronautical Exercise south of Crete | Photos & VIDEO



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