Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis started the cabinet meeting on Wednesday referring to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s “successful” and “important” visit to Greece.
He also sent a message of unity, pointing out that “such moments we must all be united and responsible, because if we have a positive outcome in national issues, it is not the government that wins, it is Greece.”
“A visit by the US Secretary of State to our country – even more so when it is the second within 12 months – is a political event, but especially given the time it took place, its agenda and the overall climate, I think it was very important. It produces results on many levels, it has a large national scope and I think that Greece, as a whole, has every reason to be satisfied with this visit,” he added.
Στη Σούδα απλώνονται συμμαχικές δυνάμεις, στα νερά της διεξάγονται κοινές ασκήσεις και στον ουρανό της Κρήτης πετούν ελληνικά και αμερικανικά αεροσκάφη. Και η Σούδα θα γίνει έδρα ελλιμενισμού του USS Hershel Williams, ενός από τα μεγαλύτερα πλοία των ΗΠΑ. https://t.co/MLkrBsvMLT pic.twitter.com/WMprxNkSQ7
— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) September 29, 2020
Regarding defence issues, the PM said “I would like to inform you that the presence of the most modern ship of the American fleet, the USS Hershel Williams, in Souda, says a lot about the future of our defence cooperation. I think that on the diplomatic level also, what was said about Greece as a factor for stability in the region was very important. Let us not forget that a few days ago Mr. Pompeo was also in Cyprus. I believe that there is a very clear picture that the United States has vital interests in the Eastern Mediterranean that it is not prepared to forfeit.”
“And I believe that this visit also strengthens our national line in view of the European Union summit, which will start on Thursday. The Turkish behaviour will be examined in detail there and I hope that the message to Ankara will be absolutely clear: unilateral actions cause side effects, aggressive moves bring similar responses, so provocations must stop in order for dialogue to begin on our difference with Turkey, which is nothing more than the delimitation of maritime zones in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean,” he added.
Ευχαριστώ to @PrimeministerGR for showing me the true meaning of Greek hospitality. The U.S.-Greece relationship is built on a strong foundation of people-to-people ties, a testament to our countries' shared values and enduring friendship. pic.twitter.com/Q1Kqnyfd6F
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) September 29, 2020
Mitsotakis stressed that “our position is very clear, as I also said yesterday, that the time for diplomacy has come and it is now up to our neighbours to prove in practice if they really want de-escalation and dialogue. Otherwise Europe has other ways to protect its interests, but also the broader security of the Eastern Mediterranean region.”
Meanwhile, Pompeo welcomed Greece’s role as a pillar of stability in the region in a post on Twitter.
“Departing Greece today, gratified by the extraordinary progress we have made in U.S.-Greece relations since my visit last year. I welcome Greece’s role as a pillar of stability in the region,” he said.
Departing Greece today, gratified by the extraordinary progress we’ve made in U.S.-Greece relations since my visit last year. I welcome Greece’s role as a pillar of stability in the region. pic.twitter.com/Q13Y7HEJy5
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) September 30, 2020