ATHENS – Government spokesperson Yiannis Oikonomou started the press briefing on Friday with a reference to the upcoming visit by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to the United States, “where on Monday he will meet with US President Joe Biden, while on Tuesday he will address the US Congress”.
“It is noted that, especially as regards his presence in the Congress, such an honorary invitation is extended to foreign leaders extremely rarely. The leaders of countries that are strategic partners of the United States – such as Israel, Australia, India and the United Kingdom – or prominent personalities, such as Nelson Mandela or Lech Walesa, have so far addressed the US Congress,” he added.
The prime minister’s visit to the USA was taking place at a critical juncture and proved the high level of relations between the two countries, as well as the high prestige that Greece enjoys as a result of the policies adopted by the government since the beginning of its term, he said.
“The prime minister’s visit to the White House, which is the second during Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ term so far, will have a national, geopolitical and historical impact on relations between the two countries and for Greece’s position in the modern world,” Oikonomou stressed.
He noted that the agenda of the talks with Biden includes “international and regional issues”. “The issue of Turkish provocations will be raised; after all, Kyriakos Mitsotakis has already raised the issue of Turkish overflights above Greek territory as an issue that undermines and endangers the cohesion of NATO, at a time when stability is required. Bilateral issues will also be discussed in the framework of the Greece-US strategic partnership, including the cooperation of the 3 + 1 scheme, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, an issue crucial for the West in which the government has taken a clear and unequivocal stance from the beginning, demonstrating in practice its solidarity with the Ukrainian people and its support for international law by participating in the European and Allied response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.”
He added that there will be a discussion on energy as Greece can become a hub for gas and clean energy transport from the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean to the Balkans and SE Europe. “It can actively contribute to Europe’s independence from Russian fossil fuels, but also to the diversification of energy routes and to Europe’ s energy security,” he said.
The government spokesperson stressed that the prime minister will meet with Biden and will address the Congress not only on behalf of Greece but as a representative of Hellenism. “He will speak as the prime minister of a confident country that is a reliable ally and a factor of security and stability in the Balkans, the Mediterranean and SE Europe.”
Oikonomou also referred to the agreement on mutual defence cooperation between Greece and the United States, which was ratified on Thursday in Parliament. “An agreement with a huge international impact. This is, as the prime minister stressed, an agreement which constitutes a vote of confidence in Greece as an stable factor of stability in the Balkans, the Mediterranean and Southeastern Europe.”