The President of the Military Committee of the European Union (Chairman of the European Union Military Committee – CEUMC) General Robert Bridger, was welcomed on Thursday by the Chief of the General Military Directorate, General Konstantinos Floros, as part of an official visit to Greece.
The president of the EU Military Commission, before his transfer to the “PAPAGOS” Camp, laid a wreath at the Monument to the Unknown Soldier in Syntagma Square.
Their meeting was the 3rd this year with the most recent being in Seville in October as part of the EU Military Commission Summit at the level of the Armed Forces Chiefs. As stated in a statement by the GHETHA, during the talks, which took place in a particularly warm atmosphere, issues related to the prevailing situation in the wider geostrategic environment were discussed, with particular emphasis on the latest developments in Ukraine and Israel, as well as security challenges in Syria, Libya, Lebanon and Kosovo. Also discussed was the evolution of EU missions in the Sahel region, as well as migration and refugee flows that lead to significant social and economic challenges, as well as security challenges.
In addition, they referred to the progress in implementing the main objectives of the “Strategic Compass” Institutional Text to strengthen the EU’s security and defense policy, with a focus on the development of the Military Planning and Conduct Capability (Military Planning and Conduct Capability – MPCC) for the development of the Rapid Deployment Capacity (RDC) of the EU to deal with crises outside its borders, in the context of achieving Full Operational Capability (FOC) in 2025.
The Head of the Greek Armed Forces pointed out the contribution of the Hellenic Armed Forces (HAF) to the decisive role played by Greece as a pillar of stability and security in the wider region of the Balkans and the Eastern Mediterranean. He underlined the ever-upgrading military relationship with most Arab countries and Israel, as well as with all the Balkan Countries, aimed at creating a network that promotes peace and good neighborly relations in the Balkans and the Eastern Mediterranean. He placed special emphasis on the excellent military relations of our country with France and the USA, and noted the tripartite regional cooperation programs in which the EDs participate, namely Greece – Cyprus – Israel which is strengthened as a “3+1” scheme » with the participation of the USA, Greece – Cyprus – Egypt, Greece – Cyprus – Jordan and Greece – Cyprus – Armenia, which overall aim to consolidate peace and security in the Eastern Mediterranean region and beyond.
On this basis, he underlined the recent development of American and French means in our country to carry out evacuation operations in the Middle East region, and pointed out both the contribution of Greece with humanitarian and military aid to Ukraine, as well as the recent mission of an Aircraft C-130 with pharmaceutical and medical material for humanitarian aid in the Gaza Strip. He made special mention of Greece’s contribution to EU missions and operations, within the framework of the Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP), with the most typical being the missions in the Sahel region, i.e. in Mali (European Union Training Mission – EUTM MALI), in Mozambique (European Union Training Mission Mozambique – EUTM MOZ) and in Niger (European Union Military Partnership Mission – EUMPM NIGER), as well as in operations EUFOR (European Union Force Bosnia and Herzegovina) ALTHEA and European Union Naval Force Mediterranean Operation IRINI (EUNAVFOR MED IRINI), the Management of which has been taken over by a Greek Officer from October 1, 2023.
In addition, he highlighted Greece’s contribution to the EU with the 1st ARMY/EU-OHQ “Hellenic European Union Operations Headquarters” (EUHQ) in Larissa, which CEUMC visited in November 2022, as part of the exercise’s Distinguished Visitors Day “CPX European Union Integrated Resolve 22”. With regard to bilateral military cooperation, the Chief of the General Staff referred to the constantly strengthening cooperation between the Hellenic and Austrian Defense Forces through exercises, joint trainings and visits by delegations of military schools that took place in 2023 within the framework of the Military Cooperation Program (MCP), as well as the prospects of strengthening the military ties of the 2 Countries with further expansion of the joint actions that will be included in the upcoming 2024 PES.
In closing, the Head of the Greek Armed Forces pointed out that Greece is against methods of circumventing International Law and all kinds of revisionism wherever they come from, and emphasized the ever-increasing capacity of the Greek Armed Forces, which ensure and guarantee both the national interests and the national independence of Greece, as well as the south-eastern borders of the EU.
As part of his update Pivice-chairman of the EU Military Committee, the director of the Strategy-Policy-Defense Planning and Capabilities Branch of the GEETHA Lieutenant-General (EA) Apostolos Mitsopoulos presented issues of defense policy and current geopolitical developments, as well as the priorities of the Greek Defense Forces in a national and European context.
Upon the completion of his official visit to the GEETHA, the Chief of the GEETHA accompanied the CEUMC to the Deputy Minister of National Defense Mr. Ioannis Kefalogiannis.