US President Joe Biden said that under his administration, the nations of the United States and Greece will be as close as possible.
The President participated in an online event to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution, which was attended by more than 100 members of the Greek-American community.
The event was coordinated by White House press secretary Jen Psaki, who has Greek roots, with Biden addressing the expatriates, saying: “I see many good friends on the screen.”
The US president referred to the telephone conversation he had with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, saying that the Greek premier will come to visit him in Washington when the coronavirus pandemic permits.
In fact, he did not hide his desire to build an even stronger relationship to promote the common interests that the US has with Greece, noting that this was the main issue he discussed with the prime minister.
Biden said that, under his government, the two countries will be as close as possible.
“I promise you that. I am committed to building a stronger partnership than we already have and to promoting our common interests. That was the main issue we talked about with the Prime Minister,” he said.
“I have not given up yet,” Biden said in a reference to the Cyprus problem, noting that he had collaborated for many years on this issue with his close friend, the late senator Paul Sarbanes.
President Biden expressed his regret that he could not host the expatriates and Greek-Americans at the traditional event held every year at the White House for the March 25 holiday, saying “I promise that next year, with the pandemic behind us, we will have an important celebration.”
Biden talks to Greek PM Mitsotakis
Earlier, Prime Minister Mitsotakis and Biden reaffirmed the strategic nature of Greek-US cooperation for security and prosperity in the wider Eastern Mediterranean region during a phone contact.
According to sources from the Prime Minister’s office, Biden stressed that today Greece is a critical ally in NATO, with active action for peace and prosperity in the Eastern Mediterranean, Black Sea and Western Balkans, stressing the importance of defense cooperation between the two countries, with reference to the US forces in Souda Bay.
On his part, Mitsotakis congratulated Biden on his election, expressing Greece’s readiness for close cooperation with the United States in international fora, aiming at defending the common values of both countries, with emphasis on human rights and the fight against climate change.
The Prime Minister personally thanked the US President for the consistent support, adding that in the long-standing relationship between the two countries, the Greek-American community acts as a bridge.
According to the same sources, Biden also expressed his personal commitment to this friendship during his political career and praised the Greek-American community, with which he has a very close relationship, for its contribution to the progress and prosperity of the United States.
The official readout by the White House of the conversation between the two leaders follows:
President Joseph R. Biden spoke today with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
He congratulated Greece on the celebration of its bicentennial and expressed his commitment to further deepening the strong bilateral ties between our countries.
He also conveyed his appreciation for our growing defense cooperation, including through the U.S. Naval Support Activity Souda Bay.
The two leaders agreed to work together to address the threat of climate change and pursue a sustainable economic recovery.
The President conveyed his hope for stability in the Eastern Mediterranean. They also agreed to coordinate on issues of shared interest, including energy security, China, Russia, and the Western Balkans.