Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met today, in a very warm atmosphere, with the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the United States Senate, Senator Robert Menendez, who is paying a visit to our country for contacts with the state and political leadership on the occasion of the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the beginning of the Greek Revolution.
At the beginning of their meeting, Mr. Mitsotakis and Mr. Menendez had the following dialogue:
– Kyriakos Mitsotakis: “It is my great pleasure to welcome you, Mr. Chairman, to Athens. I know that I welcome a very, very good friend of Greece, but also a man who has put the strategic importance of the Eastern Mediterranean at the heart of US foreign policy. We are really looking forward to the completion of the Law on Defense and Interparliamentary Partnership 2021, which I believe will be legislation – a milestone that will further enhance the progress we have made at the level of our bilateral relations.
And I particularly appreciate the fact that you have always been a man of principles, committed to human rights and international law, as fundamental principles that should inspire civilized countries in resolving their disputes. Again, welcome to Athens. It is always a great pleasure for me to meet you and talk to you.”
– Robert Menendez : “Thank you, good morning (in Greek). It is a great honor for me, Prime Minister, to meet you again. I think the last time we met was during your visit to Washington when I gave you a signed copy of the East Med Act. Greece is a key player in this strategic partnership.
We are deeply grateful to the Greek people for their hospitality. We are grateful to you for the leadership you are playing in deepening our cooperation in the fields of defense, economy and energy. We really appreciate your leading role in the issues of the day, such as Climate Change and my thinking is with the Greeks who lost property. I appreciate your leadership role and how you responded to the provocation of the fires and I realize that, with the exception of one firefighter who unfortunately lost his life, many lives were saved. I understand that the loss of property causes great pain, but human lives are the most important. Therefore, we would like to express our appreciation for the leadership you have shown in this matter. Obviously Climate Change is a serious issue for both the US and Greece.
Therefore, we particularly appreciate the leadership of Greece in this field and, finally, I would like to emphasize that we are going through a very important period for our countries, which is an opportunity for Greece to continue to play a particularly important role internationally and I refer and on issues of democracy that are of particular importance. So again. I look forward to our discussion and thank you very much for the warm welcome.”
During the meeting with Senator Menendez, a longtime friend of Greece and Hellenism, the Prime Minister reviewed the excellent Greek-US bilateral relations and discussed regional and international issues of common interest, with emphasis on developments in the wider region, the Eastern Mediterranean, North Africa and the Balkans, but also the Middle East, with a focus on Afghanistan.
There was a common finding about the highest level of Athens-Washington relations, as well as about the even greater possibilities for their continuous expansion and deepening.
From the Greek side, the meeting was attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, the Ambassador of Greece to Washington, Ambassador Alexandra Papadopoulou, the Director of the Diplomatic Office of the Prime Minister, Ambassador Eleni Sourani, National Security Advisor Athanasios Dokos and Deputy Government Spokesperson Aristotelia Peloni.