ATHENS - The US embassy in Athens will not be hosting its annual Independence Day celebration in July, Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt said on Tuesday, "in line with Greek regulations enacted to counter the spread of COVID-19."
In a letter, the ambassador said that both the Athens and Thessaloniki events will be cancelled this year, and he expressed the hope that the two countries would be able to celebrate their 200-year friendship at the event of 2021.
Reviewing 2020 as "a year of unprecedented progress in the US-Greece relationship," the ambassador referred to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis' visit to Washington in January to meet President Trump, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit to Athens in October 2019 for the second US-Greece Strategic Dialogue as part of a "common agenda to support Greece's continued economic recovery and to forge even stronger ties" in several sectors.
"As we move forward with our agenda in 2020, albeit in a different manner than we originally envisioned, we will strive to ensure that Greece remains a pillar of stability in a complex and changing region," Pyatt said, adding that the embassy will continue to work closely with the government and business community to maintain the momentum in the economic relationship.
He also underlined that "the Greek government and people deserve great credit for effectively mitigating the pandemic to this point," and added that instead of the usual call to American firms in Greece to donate towards the annual event, he will instead express his thanks to them for their generosity in donating funds, goods, or services to Greece to fight the pandemic.