ATHENS – U.S. Ambassador to Athens Geoffrey Pyatt, who has not spoken strongly out against furloughs from jail for a terrorist assassin behind the murders of five Americans, again said relations with Greece are growing deeper, ironically with the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA that has sympathy for terrorists and anarchists.
Speaking after a recent US-Greece Strategic Dialogue in Washington, Pyatt said the last year had been an historic one after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras backed off his anti-American, anti-NATO stance to embrace both, opening the door for greater U.S. military presence in Greece that the Premier vowed to end.
“Deepening the U.S.-Greece relationship has strong bipartisan support in the United States,” Pyatt said during an event on Greece’s geopolitical role and Greek-American relations that was hosted by the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP).
Speaking of the U.S.-Greece Strategic Dialogue, Pyatt said that the process “elevated and institutionalized our relationship in a manner consistent with how many of the embassy’s long-time friends have viewed the US-Greece alliance.”
He said there is “strong appreciation” in Washington for Greece’s role as a pillar of stability in the wider region, the country’s “impressive contributions” in handling waves of refugees and migrants and especially for Tsipras pushing through a deal to give away the name of an ancient Greek province to rename The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM,) which is now North Macedonia.
That agreement also opened the door for North Macedonia to get into NATO, with reports the U.S. squeezed Greece to give in to help the defense alliance admit a new member as a bulwark against Russian interests in the Balkans.
The agreement was brokered with the help of United Nations envoy Matthew Nimetz, an American lawyer who had failed for two decades to end the 28-year name dispute but reopened talks in 2018 after a three-year break and got Greece to lift vetoes keeping FYROM out of NATO and opening European Union accession talks.
“In Washington, the stock of the U.S.-Greece relationship today is higher than it has been for many years,” Pyatt said, adding it would be shown with an unprecedentedly large American delegation that will be at the Delphi Forum this weekend.