US President Joe Biden posted on Twitter about the reception he gave at the White House yesterday in honour of Greek Prime Minister.
“It was an honor to host Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Mrs. Mitsotaki for a reception at the White House. The friendship, partnership, and alliance between our two nations is stronger than it has ever been,” Biden wrote in a post, which included a photo of himself and his wife Jill with the Mitsotakis couple from last night.
It was an honor to host Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Mrs. Mitsotaki for a reception at the White House. The friendship, partnership, and alliance between our two nations is stronger than it has ever been. pic.twitter.com/2DLXuP9yhZ
— President Biden (@POTUS) May 17, 2022
At yesterday’s reception, the US President reiterated that relations between the two countries are at an all-time high and expressed hope that the close cooperation between the two countries will continue, emphasising that he looks forward to continuing talks with Mitsotakis in Greece as well.
The tie with the Greek flag
Biden’s outfit of choice for his meeting with Mitsotakis on Monday was a blue tie with the Greek flag.
The wavy pattern with the cross and the nine stripes is obvious.
The tie was first seen worn by the now US President at the Concordia European Conference in Athens on June 6, 2017.
New York Times journalist Achilles Tsaltas told Biden that he is wearing a nice tie, with the then former American vice president saying that he is wearing his Greek tie and noted that it is nice.
Both Jill and Joe Biden referred to yesterday’s reception with warm words to the Greek people, the Greek community and the Mitsotakis couple.
In fact, the American president joked, saying that he was nicknamed “Bidenopoulos” since he received 92% of the votes of the Greek community, from the time he was a Delaware MP.
The American president introduced himself as Bidenopoulos to Mitsotakis.
However, for his part, the Greek Prime Minister suggested instead “Bidenakis”, a more Cretan form than the usually Peloponnesian “poulos”.
“Today our friendship and partnership between our countries, between Greeks and Americans, I think is more important than ever. And I’m honored to celebrate the partnership with you,” the American president noted.
Mitsotakis referred to the significance of currently celebrating the bicentennial of the Greek War of Independence, which was also inspired by the American struggle for independence. Over the last two centuries Greece and the United States have fought wars together and are now united in facing the challenge of the Ukraine war, he noted.
“My visit to the United States is an opportunity to reassess the status of our relationship, which I honestly believe is at an all-time high,” the Greek leader said, underlining Greece’s role as a reliable partner, one that overcame crises to become a pillar of stability in the region.
According to a White House release, the two leaders, reviewed “our strong and growing defense partnership, our shared democratic values, and our commitment to further expand bilateral trade and investment.”
They also discussed developments in Ukraine, “including our strong support for efforts to impose costs on Russia for its unprovoked aggression, and pledged to continue backing the people and government of Ukraine.”
The US and Greek leaders also discussed developments in the eastern Mediterranean, “as well as our common efforts to confront global challenges, including energy security, climate change, and threats to democracy.”
After the talks, the US president hosted a reception at the White House.
The reception was attended by about 200 guests, including Archbishop Elpidophoros, the head of the Orthodox Church in the Americas, the Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and Chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Menendez.
In short speeches at the banquet, Elpidophoros condemned Russian aggression in the Ukraine.
“Freedom and democracy are worth fighting for,” Biden said in response. On a lighter note, he told Mitsotakis that “really, Jill and I are looking forward to seeing you in Greece.”
On his part, Mitsotakis said that Greece plans to play an important role as a gateway for energy in Europe and also asked Biden to put negotiations for the reunification of Cyprus back on track. He also mentioned that Greece will acquire the advanced F-35 fighter.
On Tuesday, Mitsotakis will meet Pelosi and will address a joint session of Congress. He will then meet with Vice President Kamala Harris and be honored at a luncheon hosted by Pelosi and will meet with members of the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues and members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
The Prime Minister will conclude his visit in Washington with a dinner with representatives of Greek-American organisations.