US official: Greece is the real beneficiary of the Prespes Agreement

The year 2018 will be remembered as one of the most productive years in the history of US-Greece relationship, a United States high-level official told Greek journalists on Monday.

“The US commitment to the partnership with Greece is based on common interests,” he said, and referred particularly to the progress achieved and the partnerships built in the areas of trade, investment, defence and security. The two countries “now need to sustain that momentum and build on it,” he went on to state.

Talking about the US-Greece Strategic Dialogue, the official said that it was not a conversation focused narrowly on the topics “dominating the Greek vocabulary through this decade of crisis, refugees, the financial crisis, but was much broader than that” and reflected the investments the two countries had made across the board.

Regarding the Prespes Agreement, the US source asserted that his country saw the Agreement as the validation of the investment the US has made in its relationship with Greece and of its vision of the latter as a source of solutions and “a country that exports stability and confidence in the wider region.”

Furthermore, he expressed the opinion that Greece is the real beneficiary of the Prespes Agreement, both in terms of the benefits it will see after its full implementation and the resolution of the name issue; and on account of the potential the Agreement bears in stimuluating additional positive developments regarding Albania, Kosovo and Serbia.

He then asserted his country’s intent to remain engaged in Skopje and to continue working for “the full and complete implementation of the Prespes Agreement”, adding that the US “expects Greece to play a very important role in FYROM.”

The official also saluted the creativity, the tenacity and the intelligence of Greek diplomacy during the negotiations, and more broadly.

Asked about the process that will be followed if the Prespes Agreement is fully implemented, he said that “the US will immediately recognize Greece’s northern neighbor as the Republic of North Macedonia, and we expect that most countries will act in the same way, as it is the people of that country that have spoken through their legal, sovereign democratic mechanisms to make that choice.”

Finally, the official referred to the Thessaloniki International Fair and its emerging role as an important Western Balkan gate; and to Greece’s new position as a significant energy hub for the region.