Amid mission to protect Red Sea shipping, Greece seeks key role in EU defense – minister

Greece, host of the headquarters of the EU operation to shield ships from Houthi attacks in the Red Sea, hopes to play a more central role in ensuring security of the 27-nation bloc, the defense minister says.

“We have to be able to defend ourselves,” Nikos Dendias tells Reuters, adding that the European Union could achieve that in cooperation with NATO and other allies.

“What we’re trying to do is have a home-grown defense industry in Greece and Europe which could service the needs of the European Union.”

The EU’s Red Sea naval mission, dubbed “Aspides,” which in Greek means “Shields,” was launched last month to guard vessels from attack by Iranian-aligned Houthi militants in support of Palestinian terror group Hamas in its war with Israel.

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