Geoffrey Pyatt

US Ambassador to Greece, Geoffrey Pyatt stressed that all islands have the same rights as continental territory as established by the International Law of the Sea, at the 5th Delphi Economic Forum on Wednesday, held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CNN Greece reported.

The US ambassador also commented on the memorandum signed by Ankara with Tripoli, which may be published by the UN in the coming days, and replied that “the Turkey-Libya memorandum cannot take anything away from Greece”, while he called it “unhelpful” and “provocative”.

On the other hand, he called the Greek-Italian agreement signed on Tuesday over maritime zone delineation in the Ionian Sea “the right way to do things, inclusive of all parties.”

Speaking of the EastMed pipeline, he said that the US supports it “as a strategic enterprise” and that Greece was contributing to “diversifying energy sources, securing supplies” in Europe.

When the top US diplomat was asked to comment about the death of George Floyd, he responded that in the United States there is freedom of speech and expression and people are free to protest. He stressed the progress made in recent decades, especially since the 1960s, recalling the African-American civil rights protests.

“We elected the first African-American president 12 years ago, it would have been unthinkable in 1964,” he said, adding that “American democracy is alive and well and will come out stronger from this experience.”

On Tuesday, a few hours after the signing of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) between Greece and Italy, Greek Parliament President Constantine Tassoulas met with US Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt, reported CNN Greece. “The role of the US is important and based on the fact that Greece is a pillar of stability in the region, of course this alliance is one of the top priorities for the United States,” said Pyatt, adding that the US was cooperating closely with Greece especially in matters of defence and security “let alone in the region of the Southeastern Mediterranean and in cooperation with countries such as Cyprus and Libya.”

Tassoulas noted that the United Sated and in Pyatt, “has shown that it is interested in stability and peace in the wider region. And very recently in a very interesting interview, he spoke about the sovereign rights of Greece, he spoke about the continental shelf that our islands are entitled to, just as the US Deputy Secretary of State for Energy Francis Fannon did recently.”