Important Meetings for Greek Minister of Civil Protection Theodorikakos

November 11, 2021
By Petros Kasfikis

WASHINGTON, DC – Greece’s strategic regional role in the security of the Balkans and the Eastern Mediterranean emerged during meetings by the Minister of Civil Protection, Takis Theodorikakos, in Washington, DC. Theodorikakos visited the U.S. capital in the wake of the signing of the new Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement (MDCA) and the completion of the third round of the Greece-U.S. Strategic Dialogue, which includes the strengthening of relations in a number of areas, including homeland security. In this context, he had the opportunity to talk about the upcoming steps that will lead to the next level of the already strong cooperation that Greece has with the U.S. in the field of security.

“Greece and the United States have a very strong strategic relationship in the field of security. We share the same values ​​and work closely and effectively for security and stability in the volatile region of the south-eastern Mediterranean with the common goal of tackling organized crime, terrorism, and illegal immigration. With my counterpart, the Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, we discussed the further upgrade of our strategic cooperation, as well as the need for Greece to have a strategic regional role in the Balkans and in the southeastern Mediterranean in the field of security,” Theodorikakos said.

Earlier, the Minister of Civil Protection visited the State Department, where he met with the acting Deputy Coordinator for Counter-Terrorism Timothy Pounds. He then went to the Department of Homeland Security, where he had a bilateral meeting with his American counterpart, Alejandro Mayorkas. After the meeting, the Minister of Civil Protection visited the U.S. Department of Justice, where he met with Deputy Assistant Attorney General and Counselor for International Affairs Bruce Swartz.

During these meetings, the excellent level of bilateral relations was confirmed and the next moves that will further enhance security cooperation were discussed. In this light, the importance of stability was underlined and Greece’s strategic regional role for security in the Balkans and the Eastern Mediterranean was highlighted. It is also indicative that in the near future Greece will take the initiative for the training of third party police, thus transferring the American know-how that it has acquired.

The Greek side considers that the cooperation with the U.S. in the field of security can prove to be particularly beneficial both through the direct exchange of information and through the various co-education programs. As Theodorikakos explained, “for this purpose, we agreed to intensify and upgrade the joint training of our service personnel, especially in the areas of information exchange, cybercrime, and counter-terrorism. And, of course, our cooperation concerns and expands in the field of dealing with illegal immigration.”

Finally, regarding the issue of migration flows, the Minister of Civil Protection spoke to his American counterpart about the growing pressures on the borders of our country, emphasizing that Greece is taking all appropriate measures in order to be able to respond successfully to any pressure and crisis that occurs in the area.

The Greek minister also honored Veterans Day, which is a national holiday in the U.S., with the laying of a wreath at the First Infantry Division Monument, located near the White House. The laying of the wreath at the specific monument was organized by the Army Association, which was represented by Colonel and member of AHEPA Nick Vamvakias.

The Greek delegation then visited Arlington National Cemetery, where Theodorikakos placed a wreath at the grave of George Dilboy (Dilvois) in memory of all the fallen Greek-Americans. Dilvois was a Greek immigrant who volunteered to join the U.S. Army and was killed heroically during World War I. In fact, he is considered the first Greek-American to be awarded with the U.S. government’s highest and most prestigious military decoration, the Medal of Honor, by the U.S. Congress for his bravery and sacrifice.

Next on the agenda for the Minister of Civil Protection is a visit to New York, where he will hold meetings with representatives of the Greek community.


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