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US House amendment calls for examining option of setting up military bases on Greek islands

WASHINGTON (ANA-MPA/P. Kasfikis) – An amendment calling on the United States to examine the possibility of building American military bases on Greek islands was passed by the House of Representatives on Tuesday, as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) voted on annually.

The amendment was proposed by US Representative (D-NY) Grace Meng, member of the Congressional Hellenic Caucus and the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations.

According to a press release by Meng’s office, “the amendment requires that the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State jointly submit to the appropriate congressional committees, a report on the security relationship between the United States and Greece.” It added that the report should include “an analysis of the potential for additional bases or expanded United States military presence in the Hellenic Republic, particularly on Greek islands.”

 United States forces were granted access to four additional military bases in Greece under the expanded defense cooperation agreement signed by the two countries in October of 2021. “In recent years, the Pentagon has stepped up military activities in Greece in response to Russian naval operations and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine,” the statement said.

Besides Meng, also applauding the inclusion of the amendment were Representatives Chris Pappas (D-NH) and co-chair of the Hellenic Caucus, Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), Dina Titus (D-NV), as well as American Hellenic Institute President Nick Larigakis and Hellenic American Leadership Council Executive Director Endy Zemenides.