Thessaloniki soon to be the ‘capital of the Balkans’: US Ambassador



The US Ambassador to Greece, Geoffrey Pyatt on Tuesday said he was convinced that Thessaloniki will once again play a pivotal role in the region as ‘capital of the Balkans’.

Pyatt made the comments during his visit to the city’s port, adding that Thessaloniki will benefit the most from the Prespes Agreement.

"I remain convinced that the greatest beneficiaries of the Prespes Agreement are going to be right here in northern Greece, as Thessaloniki is restored to its historic role as the capital of the Balkans, the gateway for the Western Balkans to global markets and the Thessaloniki port is obviously a key part of that," Pyatt said.

"We are interested in the success and the vitality of the Port of Thessaloniki because that connects to our interest in the success and the vitality of northern Greece, the regions of Macedonia and Thrace," the ambassador noted.

Pyatt, who visited the port to observe the preparations for the departure of the 4th US Combat Aviation Brigade that has been participating in military exercises with Greek military forces, said "I was incredibly encouraged to hear from the major and from the soldiers their very positive evaluation of their experience here in Greece. Both their great respect for their counterparts from the Hellenic Army but also the fantastic opportunities that they enjoyed here to exercise, to take advantage of the unique geography that Greece enjoys...I am very impressed to see what a complicated logistical undertaking it is to bring an army unit like this one here to Greece."

Concluding Pyatt also quoted Central Macedonia Governor Apostolos Tzitzikostas, who accompanied him, that the "partnership between our armed forces, our work together in NATO is a reaffirmation of Greece's commitment to our alliance but also America's commitment to Greece."

"We are ...extremely focused on northern Greece, building on the momentum we enjoy from our presence at the Thessaloniki International Fair but also helping to reaffirm the opportunities here," he said.