Joe Biden: There is a personal friendship between you and I. You’ve been wonderful. The democratic ideals that we so cherished originated in Greece, as we all know, inspired by our founders who were students of Greece. Sadly, Russia’s brutal attack on Ukraine is also about threat to democracy from autocrats who want to bear down on rules-tested orders and rule-based orders. I want to thank you, Mr. Prime Minister, for Greece’s moral leadership here. It’s not easy. I know, but thank you. And we have much to discuss t oday. Our ongoing support for Ukraine, our deepening defense and trade partnerships, energy security, climate change and so much more. Today, the friendship and partnership between our countries, between Greeks and Americans is, I think, more important than ever. And I’m honored to celebrate a partnership with you because you’ve been a good friend. So welcome.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis: Thank you very much, Mr. President, for these kind words. It is indeed a privilege for me to be here in the United States to celebrate with you 201 years since the beginning of our War of Independence. As you know, your founding fathers were inspired by the ideals of Athenian democracy, and our founding fathers were inspired by the struggle for independence on these lands. And over the past two centuries, our two countries have always been on the right side of history. We fought in wars together. And, of course, we are now facing, united, the challenge of Russia’s invasion into Ukraine. At the same time, this visit is an opportunity to reassess the status of our relationship. I honestly believe it is at an all time high. And I’m not just speaking about the defense component of the relationship, but I’m also speaking about trade, investment, Greece’s role as a reliable partner in the Eastern Mediterranean, as a country that overcame the financial crisis with a booming economy and is a pillar of stability both in the Balkans and in the broader region.
So when we talk about issues such as energy security, there’s so much more we can do together. And I’m very, very happy to be here with you to discuss these important topics and later to be able to address, also, your many Greek-American friends. And I know how close your ties are with the Greeks and Greek Americans, and it’s a privilege to have them here at the White House.
President Biden: Well, delighted to be here. Thank you. I look forward to our discussion.