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US Ambassador – designate to Greece

US Ambassador-designate to Greece Daniel Bennet Smith said that the Greek government is facing a very difficult economic situation with determination, and implementing all the commitments it has assumed in the framework of the program with the Troika, in his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington on Thursday.
He also stressed that the US government fully supports Greece as it applies these difficult changes and noted that encouraging steps have been made, while he also expressed understanding for the Greek citizens who wonder why they must pay for others’ actions.
Smith further said that the emphasis has been put on what needs to be done to improve the situation rather than on what happened in the past, and opined that the moves made so far by the Papandreou government have been in the right direction.
Replying to a question, the ambassador-designate said that prime minister George Papandreou has made it clear that he is not considering the prospect of default, or renegotiation of the country’s debt.
Smith said that, as US ambassador to Greece in this difficult conjuncture, he will actively promote American investments in and increased trade with Greece.
The envoy also congratulated the Greek authorities for their successes in combating terrorism, citing as an example the arrest of members of the Revolutionary Struggle group.
He further lauded Papandreou’s efforts in the Balkans and in the UN-brokered negotiations in the FYROM name issue, stressing that the US will adopt the mutually acceptable solution that will arise from the negotiations.
Lastly, he underlined the policy of rapprochement with Turkey followed by Papandreou, while he also reiterated the US support for the reunification of Cyprus as a bizonal, bicommunal federation.
Daniel Smith, up to recently executive secretary at the US State Department, holds a BA from the University of Colorado at Boulder and an MA and PhD from Stanford University, and speaks German, Turkish and Swedish.
He previously served as executive assistant to the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, and as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs from 2002 to 2005.
Smith joined the Foreign Service in 1983, and has served in Bern, Istanbul, Ottawa and Stockholm. He has also served as Executive Assistant to the Under Secretary for Global Affairs; Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for European and Canadian Affairs; and Country Officer for Czechoslovakia. From 1993 to 1995 he taught Political Science at the U.S. Air Force Academy.
He is the recipient of various State Department awards.
(source: ana-mpa)

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