"We see Greece as a pillar of stability in the region, but what I think is important to emphasise is that the United States are standing by Greece's side and Greece is not alone," said the new Consul General of USA in Thessaloniki Elizabeth Lee, during an interview with AMNA.
Consul General Elizabeth K. Lee arrived in Thessaloniki in August 2020. She holds an M.A. degree in Public Policy and International Affairs from Princeton University, a law degree (J.D.) from the University of Minnesota, and a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Grinnell College. She is proficient in Greek, Korean, and Hebrew, and has studied Arabic and Spanish.
Lee is a career member of the Foreign Service with over thirteen years’ experience as a foreign policy leader, manager, and negotiator on a diverse range of regions and issues, including the Middle East, East Asia, and the United Nations Security Council.
During the interview, she stressed the importance of Greece and the ports of Alexandroupolis and Kavala for USA's strategic interests. "The United States considers Greece a pillar of stability in the region, a country that is vital to our strategic interests." Lee also pointed out that US Ambassador to Greece, Geoffrey Pyatt, has visited Alexandroupolis five times during his tenure, "more than any other US ambassador in history."
The New Consul General also underlined Thessaloniki's promotion as a regional hub of science and technology as well as of the dynamic development of USA's presence in northern Greece which was reaffirmed by the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recent visit to the region. "You can see it - for example - in the Microsoft announcements made a few days ago. They affect all of Greece but I definitely believe that there are very exciting opportunities here in Northern Greece. I think that this scenario is reflected in the trip made by the Secretary of State."
One of the key priorities for Lee's three-year tenure in Thessaloniki is the completion of the Holocaust Museum, which she says is "one of the most important issues" she will focus on. "One cannot tell the story of modern Thessaloniki without telling the story of the city's Jews," she said, expressing hope that Pompeo's visit to the Jewish Museum raised awareness in Greece, and internationally, "for this tragic past and the important goal of establishing a museum that will honour those who lost their lives during this terrible chapter of history."
Lee also noted that she will forge even stronger bilateral ties during her term. "As Greece approaches the 200 years of independence, I am proud of the fact that the relations between our two countries are at a high level and as Consul General I want to see them become even stronger at all levels."