In US, Mitsotakis Seeks Shield Against Turkey


Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis at the Innisbrook Resort with Mayor of Tarpon Springs Chris Alahouzos and members of AHEPA. (Photo by Eurokinissi/ Dimitris Papamitsos)

WASHINGTON - With Turkey pushing its deal with Libya dividing the seas between them, a visiting Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told an audience in the Greek-American enclave of Tarpon Springs, Florida he's planning to bring more countries into an alliance against the provocations.

Ahead of his scheduled Jan. 7 meeting in Washington with President Donald Trump, as tensions are flaring over the American drone hit that took out Iran's top General, Mitsotakis further condemned Turkey's violations in the Eastern Mediterranean and Aegean and Libya deal.

“Already, America, Europe, Russia and all the Mediterranean states – from France, Cyprus and Greece, to Israel and Egypt – have condemned Turkish behavior in Libya,” the Greek prime minister said, referring to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's decision to send troops to the North African country to back the government in Tripoli, reported Kathimerini.

“And they are all reacting to (Turkey’s) unilateral actions on maritime zones,” Mitsotakis added in reference to the the deal with Libya which saw Turkey claims waters off major Greek islands, including Rhodes, and plans to drill for oil and gas off Crete, where the US has a Naval base.


PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis shakes hands with Tarpon Springs Mayor Chris Alahouzos. (Photo be Eurokinissi/ Dimitris Papamitsos)

“An alliance of peace and security is being raised against the threat of instability,” said Mitsotakis although Trump says he's close to Erdogan and has been reluctant to get tough with him at the same time the US has renewed a military cooperation with Greece and wants to expand its presence in the country.

Mitsotakis also hailed the passing of the Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act, so far a political deal seeking investors to build a line to bring energy to the European Union in an agreement with Cyprus and Israel, who also have spoken out against Turkey.

Mitsotakis said he's building the heat in the hope that “Turkey will start to feel its international isolation,” although Erdogan has shown utter contempt for what the world thinks, with Turkey already drilling for energy in Cypriot waters.

The Greek Prime Minister was speaking at an event organized by the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA) for the Jan. 6 Epiphany holiday, where he also held separate talks with Congressman Gus Bilirakis, his father and former representative Michael Bilirakis, Tarpon Springs Mayor Chris Alahouzos, AHEPA Supreme President George Horiatis, Treasurer Savvas Tsivikos and the event chairman Steven Sakoulas, the paper said.

“Hellenism needs to stand united,” Mitsotakis said in a speech at the AHEPA dinner, adding that his New Democracy's success in getting rival parties to support a partial vote for the Diaspora ensures they would not feel like “second-class citizens” of Greece although most still can't vote.