ATHENS – The delimitation of maritime zones cannot be resolved through unilateral action, US Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt said on Monday, speaking to the Greek press after the prime minister’s meetings in Washington last week, but through through talks with the affected countries, and based on international law.
Asked to comment on the Turkey-Libya memoranda of understanding on maritime zones, the American ambassador said that the State Department’s legal definition for the memorandums is that they are vague, and he pointed out that the islands, including Crete, have the same maritime rights as mainland areas.
The United States, Pyatt reiterated, want the East Mediterranean to become a zone of collaboration and stability. The US, he noted, wants the de-escalation of tension between Greece and Turkey and will definitely take a diplomatic action towards that direction.
Speaking of relations between Greece and the United States, Pyatt said they are very strong and must now go a step beyond to becoming excellent, which he described as “a big success.”
The relationship with Greece is one of the strongest relations the US could have in all of Europe, the ambassador said.
Pyatt also commented on Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ address at the Atlantic Council, saying he presented his positions in Washington effectively, showing Greece is a reliable partner. Greece is no longer a part of the problem, the ambassador said, but of the solution.
The Greek premier clarified at all his meetings with American officials the Greek positions, what Greece would not tolerate, and when it would request the intervention of the United States, Pyatt said, adding that Mitsotakis “is someone we can trust, who wants solutions and shares the American dream” of the future of Atlantic relationships, focused on market reforms.
American investors expressed keen interest in Greece and during the coming weeks, a series of business and investment missions supported by the American government will visit Greece, he noted.
The ambassador also noted the interest shown by top American officials in promoting relations between the two countries, mentioning the talks held with US Secretaries of Commerce Wilbur Ross and the State Department Mike Pompeo, who has become an enthusiastic supporter of Greek-American relations after his visit to Greece in October, a momentum that must be maintained.
In this framework, Pyatt said, the following US State Department officials would visit Greece shortly: Assistant Secretary (Energy Resources) Francis Fannon, Deputy Assistant Secretary (European and Eurasian Affairs) Matthew Palmer, and Acting Assistant Secretary (European and Eurasian Affairs) Philip Reeker.
He also said he would personally meet with Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, chair of the “Greece 2021” committee on the bicentennial of the Greek War of Independence this week.