Every visit of a Greek Prime Minister to the White House is an important event. And the upcoming visit is an important occurrence because the current Greek leader will have the opportunity to communicate directly, independent of the bureaucracy, with the President of the United States – in the context of ties of alliance and the principles and values they hold in common that connect them – about the issues in which the personal intervention of the president can be decisive for Greece.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is scheduled to meet with U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday, May 16, at the White House. This is the second time that Kyriakos Mitsotakis will meet with an American president.
The first was with President Trump in January 2020. In other words, he enjoys appreciation and acceptance from both parties. This visit, however, has a special significance. And this is because it takes place at a critical time.
On the one hand, the war in Ukraine is raging, an event that upsets the geostrategic balances, behaviors, and mindsets of 70 years and threatens not only the European way of life, but also global peace.
And on the other hand, because Greece is being pushed more and more brutally by an unpredictable Turkey.
Greece, as it has done in every war, is fulfilling its obligations in full to NATO and to the embattled Ukrainian people – and for the additional reason that the Russian invasion is a present-day copy of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.
However, the visit is also important because it is the first time in the history of relations between the two countries that a Greek Prime Minister will speak at a joint session of the Congress.
America’s leaders will unite to recognize and honor the relationship between the two countries and its leaders. It is a relationship that has reached perhaps its highest level ever and that has the acceptance of the majority of the Greek people and Greek politicians, including Alexis Tsipras, the leader of the opposition party, who has come around and worked toward deepening relations between the two countries.
In addition, it is a special honor personally to Kyriakos Mitsotakis, whom with the honors they give him, recognize him as a modern leader of Greece.
An important role in all this, is certainly played by the Greek-American community, which can now play the role it is capable of, because it finally has a ‘partner’ in Greece, a prime minister, with whom its leaders can work.
It is also a good opportunity to address the problem posed by the Pentagon and the rest of the national security bureaucracy with the leak to the Wall Street Journal of the administration’s request for congressional approval of the upgrade of existing and the sale of new F-16 fighter jets to Turkey.
Both the Prime Minister himself in his meetings with President Biden, his contacts in the Congress, and members of the Greek-American community who will also come in contact with them during the events related to the Prime Minister’s visit will have a chance to make an impact.