Kathimerini Greece Newsroom
The mutual defense assistance clause, activated in the event that one of the two countries’ territorial integrity is threatened, is probably the most important part of the defense and foreign policy cooperation agreement signed by Greece and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last week, according to sources with inside information.
The sources say that the clause has a clearly defensive orientation and is the optimal agreement between two countries that have no common borders and do not belong to common alliances.
Even though the agreement explicitly states that it does not concern specific third countries, both parties understand that it was signed to counteract Turkey’s attempts to destabilize the wider Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East region.
As part of the agreement, UAE technical staff will be trained by the Hellenic Aerospace Industry (EAV).
Greece, UAE on same page about Turkey
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the heir to the throne of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, affirmed their common stance in Abu Dhabi last Wednesday against Turkish aggression in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East and the Caucasus.
The two countries issued a joint declaration and signed a defense and foreign policy cooperation agreement along the lines of accords drawn up twice in the last decade between Abu Dhabi and Paris.
The framework of the Greece-UAE cooperation will be ensured through the participation of Abu Dhabi as an additional partner (+1) in some tripartite schemes down the line. In addition, the more frequent stationing of UAE forces in Greece and joint training are expected.
The joint statement of the two leaders on Wednesday stated that their governments condemn Turkey’s violation of the sovereignty and sovereign rights of Greece and Cyprus, as well as its overall aggressive behavior in the Middle East, the Eastern Mediterranean and the South Caucasus, in clear violation of international law. They also noted the obligation of states to refrain from the threat or use of force as provided by the Charter of the United Nations.
In this spirit, the two governments called on Turkey to respect international law and to immediately cease all its illegal and provocative actions. Moreover, Greece pledged in the declaration to play a constructive role, contributing to the strengthening of historical and friendly ties between the UAE and the European Union. The two leaders also described trade, investment, tourism, culture, energy, digital and government services and agriculture as pillars of bilateral cooperation.
Meanwhile, in his message to the 66th Annual Session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, Mitsotakis stressed that Turkey’s overall behavior is jeopardizing the Alliance’s interests.
More specifically, he referred to Turkey’s cooperation with jihadist groups and its testing of Russian-made S-400 weapons systems, which, he stressed, undermine NATO’s values, solidarity, cohesion, unity and effectiveness.