Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Tuesday visited the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier moored at the Souda naval base in Crete, referring to the upcoming celebration of the 200th anniversary since the Greek Revolution of 1821, but also Greece’s ties with the United States.
The prime minister was received by Admiral Robert P. Burke, NATO Allied Joint Force Naples Commander, and Rear Admiral Scott Robertson, commander of Carrier Strike Group Two on the “Eisenhower”, while he was shown around by Captain Paul Campanga.
The Greek prime minister made the following statement: “It is with great pleasure that I am, today, in Souda, visiting the American aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. The military cooperation between the United States and Greece is at extremely high levels. The Souda base is the only one that can accommodate American ships of this size; as our country increases and invests in the deterrent strength of its Armed Forces, military cooperation with the United States is becoming increasingly important.
This week, as we celebrate the 200th anniversary since the launch of the Greek Revolution, we are thinking about the ties that unite us with the United States. Bonds that are not only social, political and economic but are primarily bonds of [shared] values. We recall that Adamantios Korais corresponded very often with Thomas Jefferson.
And we do not forget, of course, that in the 22nd verse of the Hymn to Freedom there is a reference by Dionysios Solomos to the ‘Land of Washington’. So, the ties that unite the two countries are stronger than ever and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the American President, Joe Biden, for the very warm message with which he hailed the 200 years since the start of the Greek Revolution.”
On his part, the US Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt said it was an honour for him and the US mission to be joined by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his staff from the National Security Team on board the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower at the base of Souda. He noted that the base was “a reference point of our defence cooperation” and that the support offered by Greece is essential for the US presence in the Eastern Mediterranean. He also underlined President Biden’s decision and personal commitment to promoting this relationship to an even higher level.