National Post (Latest Edition)

PARLIAMENT OKS DEFENCE PACT WITH FRANCE

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ATHENS Greek lawmakers ratified on Thursday a new defence agreement between Greece and France that will allow them to come to each other’s aid in the event of an external threat, but which has stirred further tensions with Turkey.

The strategic military and defence cooperatio­n pact between the two NATO allies was clinched last month and includes an order for three French frigates worth about US$3.4 billion. Athens had already ordered some 24 Dassault-made Rafale fighter jets this year.

The 300-seat parliament approved the agreement by 191 votes in favour and 109 against. The leftist opposition Syriza party voted against the accord.

“For the first time it is clearly stipulated that there be military assistance in the event of a third party attacking one of the two states,” Prime Minister Kyraikos Mitsotakis, pictured, told lawmakers before the vote.

“And we all know who is threatenin­g whom with a casus belli (cause for war) in the Mediterran­ean,” he said, in a clear reference to Turkey.

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