Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met, at Maximos Mansion, with the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Robert Menendez, shortly before he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Athens.
The Prime Minister praised Mr. Menendez’s contribution to strengthening Greek-American relations, peace and cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean, for which the Senator was decorated with the Grand Cross of the Order of Honour, last August.
He made special reference to Mr. Menendez’s legislative initiative “US-Greece Defense and Interparliamentary Partnership Act”, which became US law in December 2021 and further upgrades bilateral cooperation, especially in the field of defense.
During the meeting, the two sides reviewed the Greek-American relations, which are at the best level ever and the prospects for closer cooperation in view of the 4th Round of the Greece-US Strategic Dialogue, which will take place in Athens in October.
They discussed international developments with emphasis on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Mr Menendez acknowledged the clear stance of the government, which has supported Ukraine from the first moment offering humanitarian and defense material. He stressed that Greece is a steady democracy, a reliable partner and an ally of the US in the south-eastern flank of NATO, but also a pillar of stability in the region.
They exchanged views on the defense cooperation and the new prospects that emerge, on the occasion of the recent visit of the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Alexandroupolis.
The Prime Minister focused on the economic and energy cooperation of the two countries, while he also analyzed the significance of the infrastructure that Greece is developing for the energy security, the diversification of energy sources and the energy supply of Europe, due to its strategic position.
At the beginning of their meeting, they had the following dialogue:
Robert Menendez: A photo from the Congress, a historical photo. For you but also for the fact that you have two women sitting behind you, the Speaker of the House and the Vice President of the USA.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis: And indeed well, it was a historic moment for me, but I think also for the country.
So good to welcome you again to Greece. And first of all, congratulations on the honorary degree. It’s an important moment for the university, but I’m sure also for you.
And I’d like to thank you again for everything you’ve done to promote the relationship between our two countries. I know how hard you’ve worked. I think we’ve made great progress over the past years and there’s much more to be done on numerous fronts, not just strategic and geopolitical, but also economic, cultural, on the education side.
We’re very happy that you have an exceptionally good ambassador. And I can tell you he has already made his presence felt in Greece and we’re really looking forward to continue this excellent cooperation that we have.
Robert Menendez: We very much agree. We’re very proud of our Ambassador. He’s done an exceptional job. I’ve known him for a long time. I knew he would do an exceptional job. And so I’m very happy. Flew through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and to the Senate as a whole. We’re very pleased that your Ambassador has been with us as well. She’s an extraordinary representative of the Hellenic Republic.
I was trying to go below the radar, but that’s not easy here. I went to Alexandroupolis and that’s an extraordinary development that has taken place, under your leadership.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis: The progress is amazing.
Robert Menendez: I think it is going to be a geostrategic center for Greece and for the region and for allies as well. So I think it has unlimited potential.