Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis concluded today an excellent meeting with President Trump, during which the entire spectrum of relations between the two countries was discussed.
The opportunity was also given to reaffirm the outstanding existing bilateral relations between both countries and to discuss ways to further enhance them. Furthermore, it was noted during the meeting, that Greek-American relations are currently at a highpoint.
“I am very pleased with today’s meeting with President Trump, ” the Prime Minister said, speaking to reporters shortly after his visit to the White House.
It was agreed at the meeting that the strategic cooperation with the United States will continue and be extended to all areas we consider a top priority, such as the areas of investment and defense, as both countries share a common vision for the wider Eastern Mediterranean region.
During the private meeting, the Prime Minister analyzed the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean with the US President and outlined Greece’s positions on illegal and provocative Turkish actions, including Turkey’s memorandum of understanding with Libya, which destabilize the entire balance in the region.
“All issues related to Greek sovereign rights were raised emphatically. We made it clear to the American side that we will not tolerate any violation of our sovereign rights,” Kyriakos Mitsotakis told reporters, adding: ” We confirmed the excellent state if Greek-American relations, had clear public statements on the trajectory of the Greek economy and improved President Trump ‘s own understanding of the geopolitical challenges of the region and how we can be part of the solution, not the problem.”
Developments in the framework of the Cyprus settlement process were also discussed, were Greece is also facing an intransigent position by the other side.
The Prime Minister reiterated that Greece’s cooperation with Israel and Cyprus and the development of the East Med pipeline are not aimed against any party and is indeed a project aimed to bring peace and development in which others are welcome to participate. The US President explicitly assured of his continuing support for the close cooperation we have developed with our two partners in this matter.
Both sides agreed that the common goal is to ensure stability in the wider region and that we must work together to prevent or limit provocative actions that increase tension.
The Prime Minister also outlined his government’s actions to improve the economic climate in Greece by simplifying investment procedures, focusing on both the Greek investment and the implementation of the national privatization program, stressing that the defense cooperation sector is important for both the US and Greece.
The prime minister also told reporters that negotiations will soon be under way on Greece’s participation in the F- 35 program aimed at acquiring a squadron of the new technology aircraft. The goal is, subject to the country’s financial ability, as soon as the F- 16 upgrade is completed, to acquire the F- 35. This is expected to happen, also based on the production capabilities of the F- 35, from 2024 onwards.
The geostrategic position of our country, as a pillar of stability amidst areas of crisis is of understandable interest to the US, and should be further promoted in the context of our strategic partnership.
Finally, it was agreed that cooperation in the field of Education should be further strengthened through via and enhancement of the scholarship network on both sides. With this aim, the Ministry of Education has launched, in cooperation with the US Embassy in Greece, the promotion of bilateral programs at all levels of education. Among them a program aimed at facilitating the approach of American and Greek Universities in order to launch long-term synergies such as the development of joint curricula, the participation of foreign students in foreign languages and summer programs, the exchange of foreign and foreign students, the exchange of foreign students, other forms of cooperation that the institutions themselves will decide.
The following are the introductory statements by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis:
“Thank you, Mr. President. It’s a real privilege to be here at a very important time. You were right to point out that this relationship is the best it ever was. But it can become even better.
On the geopolitical side, we call for your continued support, strengthening the strategic relationship. In the field of defense we have made great progress, ensuring that you have a reliable and stable ally in a complex part of the world.
I would also like to point out the economic aspect of our relationship. The Greek economy has performed exceptionally well in recent months. We have reduced taxes, simplified the framework, followed a recipe that has worked here in the United States, and the economy is responding very positively.
So, we look forward to your support to persuade US businesses to invest more in Greece and help us grow the economy so that people will feel the difference. It is a great privilege to be here. The United States can always rely on Greece as a reliable and predictable ally in our region. ”
Intervention following question on possible acquisition of F- 35 fighters from Greece:
Greece, Mr President, is interested in participating in the F- 35 program. As you are awarewe are upgrading our F -16’s and this program will be completed in 2023-24, so we are very interested in joining the F- 35 program after that. I am sure that the US will take into account the fact that Greece is coming out of an economic crisis so that the program can be structured in the best possible way for my country.
Intervention following a question on Turkey’s actions in Libya:
It is important to stress that the agreement signed between Turkey and Libya violates Greece’s sovereign rights. In fact, it is causing great anxiety and instability in an area that is already highly problematic. We therefore look to your support to ensure that such provocative agreements do not come into force. And in general, I think that in the eastern Mediterranean we must refrain from any kind of inflammatory activity that does not promote regional peace and security. We look forward to your support in this matter because it is very important for my country.