Greece to send Patriot missiles to Saudi Arabia



Three batteries of US-made Patriot missiles are seen in the Saudi Arabian desert in this file photo from January 1991. [Robert Sullivan/AFP]

Greece will send some of its Patriot defence missiles to Saudi Arabia under a programme involving the US, Britain and France, the government spokesman said Tuesday (February 4th).

Athens will deploy the missiles at Saudi cost "to protect critical energy infrastructure", government spokesman Stelios Petsas said.

"The deployment contributes to energy security, promotes our country as a factor of regional stability and strengthens our ties to Saudi Arabia," Petsas said, adding that talks on the move began in October.

He did not give a date for the deployment.

The US, Britain and France are part of the same initiative and Italy is likely to join, the spokesman said.

The announcement came as Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was on a Middle East tour for investment talks with the governments of Saudi Arabia and the UAE. He visited Riyadh on Monday and Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

"As a defensive system, this constitutes no threat to other countries in the area," Petsas said.

Earlier this week Petsas said "around 130 personnel" would accompany the missiles.

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