Regardless of what the American people decide in the elections, “we will be in a very good point regarding Greek-American relations because there is a strong consensus on both sides to strengthen what we are doing here,” Geoffrey Pyatt, US Ambassador to Greece said.
His comments were made during the online Thessaloniki Summit on Thursday.
He also stated that the US “strongly supports Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the Greek government’s focus on getting back to diplomacy” in relations with Turkey.
“I don’t think there are any two NATO allies who are more strongly aligned than Greece and the United States on the principle that, no matter what, we have to keep Turkey anchored in the West,” he said, adding, “We have to find a way to reach out to the Turkish government and Turkish society to build opportunities for collaboration and to work together as NATO allies.”
.@USAmbPyatt: The good thing for me as the American Ambassador in Greece is that I know that no matter what happens, no matter what the American people choose, we’re going to be in a very good place in terms of U.S.-Greece relations! https://t.co/NyOvOBOtcc
— U.S. Embassy Athens (@USEmbassyAthens) November 5, 2020
Regarding the port of Alexandroupolis, Pyatt said “it has been a special priority” for him and he “want(s) to see this strategic asset remain in Western hands.” The port is also the location of the Floating Storage Regasification Unit (FSRU) for natural gas, “another strategic priority of the United States.”
Acknowledging the Greek government’s energy policy, the US ambassador said that the prospect of a new gas-fired electricity power plant in Alexandroupolis will help Greece meet PM Mitsotakis’ goal of eliminating lignite-powered electricity production by 2028. The city, which “felt very distant” from Athens when he first visited, Pyatt said, “is suddenly emerging as a strategic crossroads.”
— Geoffrey Pyatt (@USAmbPyatt) November 5, 2020
When asked if Russia could play a mediating role between Greece and Turkey, Pyatt expressed scepticism as Russia was trying to “sow division” within NATO and between the US and Europe. He added however that “it’s perfectly normal that Lavrov should come here and engage with Foreign Minister Dendias. Greece has a long-standing relationship with Russia.”
Earlier, Pyatt met with Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias. The two officials discussed Greece-US bilateral issues, regional issues as well as the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean.
“Great to meet with Minister Nikos Dendias to discuss our many common interests, including our expanded MDCA [Mutual Defence Cooperation Agreement] and shared agenda in the Balkans. We welcome Greece’s role as a pillar of stability and its resolve to find diplomatic solutions to tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean” Pyatt tweeted.