WASHINGTON, DC – American Hellenic Institute (AHI) President Nick Larigakis held a Power Chat with Greek Minister of National Defense Nikos Panagiotopoulos at the Ideagen Global Leadership Summit. The Power Chat aired March 23 on Ideagen TV, drawing nearly 1,600 views.
The Power Chat focused on developments in the Eastern Mediterranean and Aegean and the state of U.S.-Greece security and defense cooperation.
President Larigakis set the table by demonstrating how Greece is viewed as a pillar of stability in the Eastern Mediterranean amid an unstable region.
“Greece prides itself as the Vanguard of Europe – a linchpin of regional stability and security,” Larigakis said. “However, Greece also is at the center of an arc of instability.”
President Larigakis also underscored that Greece is an important player in international commerce, shipping, and trade, and Greece possesses tremendous potential as an energy hub. Therefore, Greece must be secure, he said.
“Future U.S.-Greece economic relationships that pursue commercial partnerships and opportunities for more U.S. investment in Greece must be encouraged and fostered,” he said. “All of this and more is possible in a Greece that is secure.”
Minister Panagiotopoulos discussed the geostrategic importance of the Eastern Mediterranean and reaffirmed that Greece “stands as a true pillar of stability,” adding, “Working toward establishing a secure environment is a direct prerequisite for economic growth, and of course, to attract direct investment.”
Greece, he said, as a member of NATO and U.S. ally, is a “stable, credible and indispensable partner.”
The minster identified Turkey as “the primary source of instability in the region” for Greece and conveyed several examples of Turkey’s provocative actions. He added Greece is ready and willing to engage in fruitful dialogue to reach an understanding over disputes and bridge differences, but Greece will exercise its full sovereign rights as provided by international law and treaties.
Furthermore, Minister Panagiotopoulos touted Greece’s engagement in multilateral cooperation with countries in the region, and on bilateral level, the strategic relationship between the U.S. and Greece that is the result of shared common values and excellent relations between the people of both countries. An upgraded Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement (MDCA), which is currently under revision, is further evidence and will offer more flexibility to deepen cooperation in the defense sector, he said.
President Larigakis thanked Ideagen Global Chairman and CEO George Sifakis for the opportunity to participate and expressed his gratitude to Minister Panagiotopoulos for his time and insight.
Ideagen Global Founder and CEO George Sifakis commended President Larigakis in opening remarks for his leadership and consistent advocacy for U.S. foreign policy rooted in the rule of law in the Eastern Mediterranean and for AHI’s raising awareness of the importance of the Eastern Mediterranean globally.
The Power Chat is available for viewing online:
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