Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs R. Clarke Cooper travels to Greece, Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Poland October 14-24, 2020, to meet with U.S. Allies and partners on expanding security cooperation and defense trade that enhances our shared security.
In Greece, October 14-18, Assistant Secretary Cooper will hold consultations with senior civilian and military officials in Athens on efforts to promote peace and stability, from the Eastern Mediterranean to the Balkans. Assistant Secretary Cooper will then visit Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, one of the key locations of U.S.-Greece defense cooperation, where our expanded Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement (MDCA) fosters our ever-growing collaboration with Greece and our NATO Allies.
In Cyprus, October 18-19, Assistant Secretary Cooper will meet with senior government officials in Nicosia to discuss security cooperation and defense trade, including plans to provide International Military Education and Training (IMET) opportunities for Republic of Cyprus military personnel, as well as new regulations allowing expanded access to non-lethal U.S. origin defense articles and services, controlled under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.
In Bulgaria, October 20-22, Assistant Secretary Cooper will consult with senior civilian and military officials in Sofia on security cooperation and defense trade. Military modernization is a priority for Bulgaria, as seen in its historic procurement of eight F-16s in 2019. The United States is supporting Bulgaria’s modernization effort with more than $100 million in Foreign Military Financing and IMET investments since 2018 that are helping to improve Bulgaria’s combat effectiveness and interoperability with U.S. forces and other NATO Allies. Assistant Secretary Cooper will also observe the joint air policing mission operating out of Graf Ignatievo Air Base.
In Poland October 22-23, Assistant Secretary Cooper will meet with senior government and defense leaders to discuss Poland’s ongoing defense modernization efforts, as well as implementation of the recently signed U.S.-Poland Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement.