WASHINGTON, D.C. – With volatility in the region around Greece, it is “vital” for closer links with the United States Congress – using the Diaspora – New Democracy’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Greek Abroad Antonis Diamataris told the first Southeast Europe & East Med conference here.
Diamataris, on leave as Publisher/Editor of the National Herald to join the administration of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, said while the Diaspora has been a stabilizing force through a series of crises that tested relations with its constant ally, the United States, and “taught important lessons on how the [US] political system works and the role of Congress in general, especially in formulating foreign policy,” said Greece’s state-run Athens-Macedonia News Agency.
At the event organized by the Delphic Economic Forum and the newspaper Kathimerini he said that times have changed and that Greece should take advantage of the Diaspora’s powerful base of constituents who are key lobbyists for the Congress.
He stressed the contribution of US Senators Bob Menendez of New Jersey and John Sarbanes of Maryland, both Democrats, in presenting and defending Greece’s positions to American lawmakers, and praised the work of the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues, a body of 130 members of Congress, chaired by Gus Bilirakis of Florida, a Republican, and Carolyn Maloney of New York, a Democrat.
Diamataris noted the strengthening of ties with the Jewish community in America, calling it a “natural alliance” with a “huge multiplier effect,” the ANA-MPA said.
But he warned that, “You can never relax when we’re talking about a part of the world like Greece, Cyprus and Israel,” and said that the relationship between the three countries is “a continuous process.”