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04 February, 1998
The standard of the Greek armed forces is such that it does not require US assistance, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said yesterday when asked to comment on Washington's decision to discontinue military assistance to NATO allies Greece and Turkey.
"What is of interest to us is that the balance of power is maintained between Greece and Turkey for reasons of national security," Mr. Reppas said, noting that the assistance terminated related to the purchase of second-hand US defense material.
The decision to discontinue the assistance was announced by President Bill Clinton.
A State Department official said on Monday night that the decision in effect constituted the result of the "maturing" of the two countries' relations with the US.
"There is no need for the same level of (military) aid as in the past in order for these two countries to continue to play an active role in NATO. We had consultations with both countries," the official said.
The official clarified that Washington's intention to discontinue the assistance had been announced three years ago and that "now was the right time to do it".
Source: Athens News Agency