US and Greece have common regional interests, ambassador Pyatt says

The United States and Greece have common strategic interests and ambitions regarding the Western Balkan and Eastern Mediterranean regions, the American ambassador to Athens, Geoffrey Pyatt, said on Sunday in an interview published in Kathimerini, a week before the September 8 opening of the annual Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF), which this year hosts the US as the honored country.

“[Greece’s] agenda compliments very much our interests and our vision for the wider region whether in terms of the future of the Western Balkans or the importance of dealing with threats like terrorism, piracy, illegal migration in the Eastern Mediterranean or helping to ensure that your big neighbor to the east remains anchored in Europe and European institutions,” Pyatt said.

He also commended Greece’s role in keeping Turkey anchored to the West, notwithstanding the ongoing standoff between Washington and Ankara.

“It certainly helps us the US to have Greece as a strong advocate within the EU of keeping doors open to Turkey, continuing dialogue on things like how to build on the EU association agreement and making clear that Europe’s door remain open to Turkey,” Pyatt said. “Greece and the US share very similar interests vis-a-vis Turkey.”