Europe

Greek prime minister addresses US Congress

Kyriakos Mitsotakis tells Congress relations with US shaped by defense, economy and trade

Ekip   | 17.05.2022
Greek prime minister addresses US Congress

WASHINGTON

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis addressed on Monday a joint session of US Congress, commenting on some issues regarding Turkiye, and Russia's ongoing war against Ukraine.

Emphasizing that relations between Greece and the US are shaped by defense, economy and trade, Mitsotakis praised expanding military cooperation between the nations, particularly in the strategic port of Souda Bay, describing it as "the only port that can accommodate aircraft carriers."

Stating that, for Greece, "nobody can, nobody ever will accept a two state solution in Cyprus," Mitsotakis said Athens "will not accept open acts of aggression that violate our sovereignty and our territorial rights, and these include overflights over Greek islands, which must stop immediately."

He did not name the country, but said of Cyprus that the issue "has to be resolved in accordance with international law and in line with the relevant decisions of the United Nations Security Council."

Commenting on Russia's assault on its eastern European neighbor, the Greek premier said "unequivocally, we stand by Ukraine against (Russian President Vladimir) Putin's aggression."

"Let me be very clear, we have no animus towards Russian people with whom we have been bound so closely by faith and history, but we cannot, we simply cannot be indifferent to a struggle that reminds us so much of our own," he said.

“Please also note, the last thing, the last thing that NATO needs at a time when our focus is on helping Ukraine defeat Russia's aggression, is another source of instability on NATO's southeastern flank,” he added. “And I ask you to take this into account. When you make defense procurement decisions concerning the Eastern Mediterranean.”

Mitsotakis was feted by US President Joe Biden at the White House on Monday, participating in a bilateral meeting and an East Room reception.

The White House said following their meeting that US-Greek relations are "stronger than ever," and said the leaders "discussed developments in Ukraine, including our strong support for efforts to impose costs on Russia for its unprovoked aggression, and pledged to continue backing the people and government of Ukraine."

"They also discussed developments in the eastern Mediterranean, as well as our common efforts to confront global challenges, including energy security, climate change, and threats to democracy," it added.

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