U.S. Ambassador Rejects TNH Publisher’s Call for Transfer, Denies Meddling

US Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt.(Photo by Eurokinissi/Giannis Panagopoulos)

Reacting swiftly to an editorial by The National Herald Publisher Antonis H. Diamataris calling for him to be transferred for interfering in Greece’s sovereign affairs, U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt’s office dismissed the idea and lashed out in defense.

The tiff set off protest from Pyatt’s office, rejecting any notion he meddled by supporting Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras’ deal to give away the name of the ancient Greek province of Macedonia to a newly-renamed North Macedonia.

It was also noticed internationally, across the Diaspora, and in a report by the highly-regarded British newspaper The Guardian which wrote of the crossing of swords between the men and the hot-button issue.

The editorial came after a Pyatt Tweet that Tsipras’ visit to North Macedonia’s capital of Skopje was “a big success.”

The biting assessment particularly stung as it was not the first time that he meddled and it came during an election period with surveys showing Tsipras and SYRIZA set for defeat by the major opposition New Democracy, the party it had unseated in January, 2015.

“The American Ambassador in Athens, an intelligent and likable man, acts like a cheerleader for Mr. Tsipras, thus creating the conditions for a new difficult future in Greek-American relations, this time fueling the anger of Greece’s political right,” the editorial said of the dangers of an Ambassador overstepping his authority.

“It is difficult to interpret this ambiguous behavior of the Ambassador as anything but reward for conveniences provided by Mr. Tsipras,” the editorial said, with the United States keen to say the previously anti-American, anti-NATO, former Communist Youth leader had ironically made relations with the United States the best they had ever been.

“Hasn’t the time come for the good ambassador to be moved before he causes even more damage to relations between the two peoples?” the editorial asked.

GLOVES ARE OFF

Pyatt had noted his praise for the deal was consistent with American policy and that European Union leaders had done the same, almost coinciding with the US-Greece Strategic Dialogue in Washington, DC and reports that the United States was eager to expand its military presence in Greece, once anathema to Tsipras and SYRIZA’s hard-core nucleus.

“It is therefore absurd for The National Herald, even in an opinion piece, to portray United States support for the Greek government’s work in resolving this conflict as a matter of personality,” wrote the embassy’s press attaché Eshel William Murad.

“It is a matter of U.S. government policy. Your editorial…contains very serious and baseless insinuations regarding a U.S. government official’s motives for praising a foreign leader,” he added, noting the 104-year-old daily was a key link to the Greek-American community.

“At best, this is irresponsible, and it is also a clear misuse of the powerful platform your newspaper gives you,” the Embassy fired back.

The editorial noted a pattern of Pyatt speaking up when the government was facing troubles as it plummeted in polls. “He does so during almost every difficult period when Mr. Tsipras faces criticism with regard to national issues,” it wrote.

“But this interferes with the domestic politics of the country and violates a principle of international relations recognized for centuries – since 1648 when the Treaty of Westphalia enshrined the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries,” it added, especially with two-thirds of Greeks opposed to the name deal and Tsipras’ April 3 visit to North Macedonia’s capital of Skopje with an entourage of business executives.

TEAM SYRIZA
The Guardian wrote that improved relations between the countries were curious because of SYRIZA’s “unexpected love-in with America,” but that it had many in the Diaspora upset with Pyatt, credited with improving the ties.

“America’s oldest Greek-language newspaper, The National Herald, accused the U.S. ambassador to Athens, Geoffrey Pyatt, of acting “like a cheerleader” for prime minister Alexis Tsipras, a former communist whose policies have frequently dismayed the diaspora,” the paper wrote.

“Much of the paper’s criticism was reserved for the name-change agreement Greece has recently struck with North Macedonia. Pyatt’s support for the deal and ‘ambiguous behavior’ amounted to interference in the country’s internal affairs,” the report said.

The dispute, said the paper, illustrated the widening breach between SYRIZA and the Diaspora with estimates it ranges from three to seven million around the world, including key cities such as Boston, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, London, Sydney and Melbourne.
There was such anger about political developments in Greece, the report said, that government officials were barred from events celebrating Greek Independence Day in New York.

“With Greece bracing for general elections later this year and the country increasingly polarized between left and right, many in the Diaspora are fearful of any support that might swing the vote,” The Guardian report noted, adding that TNH was “a mouthpiece” for the vast Diaspora.

WALKING THE LINE

It’s not the first time Pyatt has been involved in an embarrassing dilemma for the United States in a field – diplomacy – which is supposed to be below the radar and as unobtrusive as possible to walk a tightrope between representing American interests and steering clear of controversy and provocation.

In February, 2014, while the U.S. Ambassador to a troubled Ukraine in 2014, a conversation he had with Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland was posted on Youtube, showing she made a profane reference to the European Union during a talk they had about the U.S. strategy for a political transition in that country.

Nuland and Pyatt were heard discussing strategies to work with the three main opposition figures and she referred to getting the United Nations involved in a political solution in Kiev.

“So that would be great, I think, to help glue this thing and have the U.N. help glue it and you know…f–k the EU,” she said in the recording, which was accompanied by still pictures of people mentioned in the call.

Pyatt responded: “Exactly. And I think we’ve got to do something to make it stick together because you can be pretty sure that if it does start to gain altitude, the Russians will be working behind the scenes to try to torpedo it.”

SECOND TIME AROUND

After the shot from Pyatt’s office, Diamataris said he reluctantly had to return fire as he didn’t want to continue the disagreement but felt compelled because of the reaction to the editorial in the Greek and international media.

He noted that the editorial had been even-handed, but said that the Ambassador overstepped when he tweeted that Tsipras’ visit to Skopje was “very successful,” – despite a boycott by business leaders from Thessaloniki and Macedonia, in Greece.

Pyatt had also written that, “The Prime Minister’s visit to Skopje gives hope to all Europe for the strengthening of relations among its people,” without noting the vehement opposition of the vast majority of Greeks to the deal they felt was a sell-out.

Speaking of Pyatt, the second editorial said that the Ambassador was “clearly warned” that this issue was contentious for the Diaspora and in an interview with the paper on Dec. 4, 2018, when he was questioned about feelings he was too close to Tsipras and what an Ambassador’s role should be about governments and opposition parties.

Pyatt said then that, “In diplomacy, we generally talk about shared interests and shared foreign policy objectives, and we have to remember that, as individual diplomats, we are all replaceable. My job is to represent the U.S. to Greece’s elected government, and my service across two different U.S. administrations in Greece is the best example that I can offer of that continuity of interests.”

Despite the criticism he’s partial to keeping SYRIZA in power, with Tsipras falling in line with U.S. policies and interests, Pyatt’s term reportedly will be extended until 2020, when either the Leftists will return or New Democracy will be in power for the Ambassador to deal with.

12 Comments

  1. Mr. Diamantaris… how dare you offend the darling of the Greek Secret Society of Masons, Endy Zemenides, and Israeli representative to the U.S congress….Robert Menendez… who saw nothing wrong in the theft of the Macedonian culture, the dismissing of Russian diplomats based on Pyatts meddling charges, , the divide and schism of the Orthodox church in the Ukraine based on Pyatt’s meddling charges, the removal of the elected president of the Ukraine, and the installation of Neo Nazi oligark Victor Porchenko by Pyatt and Victoria Nuland ..who executed the breaking up of the Orthodox Church in the Ukraine, and anti Russian policies of Pyatt, but now replaced by a comedian as president!

    Did I mention …it is Pyatt and Menendez who threaten Greece and Cyprus with economic warfare if they buy oil and Gas from Iran , Russia ,or Venezuela! Or buying Russian weapons …like Turkey , Chinal, Pakistan, Egypt etc etc.

    Also,..it is Pyatt and Menendez who demand that Greece break international laws and support the starving of the people of Venezuela to do what they did in the Ukraine..remove their leader and install another Porshenko in Venezuela!

    Mr. Diamantariis..you have exposed just another symptom of the hijacking of America by Fascist white Supremacist in our government, who believe, that they are so exceptional and superior, only they can run Greece!

    Kali Anastasi Diamantaris , no surprise ..that on Holy week ..you now serve Christ!…

  2. Michael, Your repeated obsession with Ukrainian issue and Russia… on a Greek website… suggests you Slavic false flag..

    You are right that American government can’t be trusted since they betrayed us by supporting Marxist Tspras (something they would never do in the US) and supporting a name deal the majority of Greeks are against.

    However your beloved Russia can’t be trusted either… since you also called Skopians “Macedonians.

  3. US Senator Menedez is a great Philhellene. He’s one of the view US Senators that signed the bill denoucing Skopje’s use of the name “Macedonia” and condemning them for irredentism. Most of the rest behaved like the ethnic engineers of the Soviet Union which they once protected Greeks from on this exact issue.

  4. When I would read Pyatt’s statements, whether they were about Greece or about Ukraine, he struck me as a would-be colonial administrator rather than a US ambassador seeking diplomatic contact with other sovereign nations.

  5. Why would an Ambassador even respond to an article in a very small media outlet unless there was truth and fear about the report? Like I have said before I still don’t know who the Greek Ambassador to the U.S. is and just looking it up is probably how it should be, yet almost every American Ambassador to Greece gets headlines daily responds to every thing greece does at least externally, over steeping its role as a diplomatic corps, and more of a dictator of a banana republic..
    The degree which first the Embassy and now the Ambassador have chimed in is unprecedented I guess the truth always has the rats scurrying for high ground sensing the tidal wave of truth coming.

  6. Greek …this is what real American Greeks do..not Greek impostors!

    Open letter to Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey

    AS a my representative, I am writing to express my support of an editorial by The National Herald Publisher Antonis H. Diamataris calling for the removal of U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt from Greece for interfering in Greece’s sovereign affairs!

    Mr. Pyatt, has violated international laws and unethically interfered with internal affairs , of not only Greece, but in his former assignment in the Ukraine with you and Victoria Nuland…and a matter of Public record!

    Mr. Diamantaris of the National Herald News .has demonstrated great courage in meeting his journalistic obligation to bring the truth to the people of America!

    The United Nations Charter states in Article 2 that countries are not “to intervene in matters that are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state.” the UN also states, “no state has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatsoever, in the internal affairs of any other state.”

    Like the Ukraine, Pyatt again attempted to manipulate the Greek Government to his favor, and influence the people of Greece to act in his interests!

    Mr. Menendez, failure to comply with these demands, make you again, an accessory to the breaking of International laws, which you have supported in the Ukraine, Syria, Yemen, and Venezuela!

    Michael Gianakos
    New Jersey., U.S.A

  7. @Michael,

    Your obsession with Russia and Ukraine hardly indicate you are Greek. Greeks worry about Macedonia.. not whether Crimea is Russian or Ukrainian.

    I’m no fan of US foreign policy but to claim they are “fascist” is plain ridiculous. Your goal seems to be simply to demonetize the US rather than criticize some particular policy. That’s only further indication that you are probably Russian false flag trolling us.

  8. @michael

    Greek patriots worry about hellenism dear. Mr. Menendez has been one of the only US government officials to support Greece in the name dispute and against Turkish nationalist agreession in the Aegean… and you repeatedly slander him because he’s against Russia’s annexation of Crimea?

    Your pro-Russian obsession, when Russia also calls Skopians “Macedonians, and hostility to philhellene Menendex, indicates you are a liar either pretending to be Greek — or a moron that undermines the security of Greece. Which is it?
    .

    1. Hey Greek… I think Pavlos Serritas…who is a real Greek Patriot worried about Greece., best describes , Pyatt, Ahepan Menendez, Endy Zemenidis, and you and your associates in the Greek Secret Society of Masons as follows..

      “The degree which first the Embassy and now the Ambassador have chimed in is unprecedented I guess the truth always has the rats scurrying for high ground sensing the tidal wave of truth coming”.

      Only demented White Supremacist Racist fascist.can continue Russian Collusion Narratives to discredit those who expose the truth about a Criminal Foreign Policy of destabilizing the countries of the world and now dropping one bomb every 12 minutes of the day on some country of the world, who is not compliant to the rule of Corrupt and proven” pay for play” senators.like … and let me be clear ..a traitor to me and to all “Americans”…. Menendez!

      Only a white supremacist racist fascist Mason..can respond to a letter to the.Greatest Phillene in the world according to the Ahepa frauds Senator Robert Menendez from a Greek American resident of the state that Menendez fraudulently serves, in order to support the security and sovereignty of not just Greece, but all independent countries of the world..and who then suggests I am a moron undermining the security of Greece!!

      The readers should now understand, how rats run to high ground thru media distortion and illusions ..as we learned from the Russian Collusion Narrative!

      Fascism 101…

  9. Hey Greek ..it is a matter of a fact ..that Menendez has sponsored or co-sponsored up to 225 resolution in Congress since he was in office, and only recognition of Greek Independence Day with other senators ..is his entire support .but is used by the your Greek Secret Society.. to lie to us!

    There are no resolutions that sponsored or co -sponsored demands that Turkey stop their hostile violations of Greek airspace and territories of Greece and Cyprus!

    There are no resolutions for the war crimes genocide of Greek Cypriots in Norther Cyprus by Nato Ally Turkey, …no resolution to support Economic Sanctions against Nato Ally Turkey for their continued occupation of Northern Cyprus in violation of 3 U.N resolutions demanding Turkey’s removal, only for not buying arms from him!

    You distort Menendez contribution to Greek interests, since, it was 11 years ago in 2008, that Menendez signed off on an Olympia Snow Greek Congresswomen resolution ..which opposed a Bush appointment for Ambassador to FYROM and making FYROM part of Nato!

    However in 2019, as a ranking member of the Foreign Relations committee , he signed off on making North Macedonia a member of Nato, and what Pyatt was ordered to do .. persuade Tsipras to surrender the Macedonian culture for Nato entry!

    While Senator Rand Paul and other members of the committee, submitted resolution to deny North Macedonia into Nato!

    Have you sent a copy of my letter to Menendez.? Of course, not !

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