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Greek Parliament ratifies defence pact with France

Athens, Oct 8 (IANS) The Greek Parliament has ratified an agreement with France on the establishment of a strategic partnership for cooperation in defence and security.

The agreement, which was signed last week in Paris by French President Emmanuel Macron and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, passed on Thursday by 191 votes in favour in the 300-member assembly, reports Xinhua news agency.

"It is an accord that upgrades bilateral cooperation in defence, security and foreign policy," Mitsotakis said in Parliament.

Calling it a historic agreement, he said that "for the first time there is a clear clause of military assistance in the event of an attack by a third party on one of the two states".

In the context of the new accord, Greece will also purchase three French frigates in addition to an earlier order of French fighter aircraft.

The first Rafale planes are scheduled to be delivered this year, and the first Belharra frigate in 2025, the Greek leader said.