Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis held a meeting on Monday with visiting Greek-American US congressman Gus Bilirakis, in which they discussed Greece’s role as a factor of stability in the Mediterranean.
The meeting between the PM and the US representative confirmed the excellent level of Greek-American diplomatic relations currently. The two men discussed international and peripheral developments and Greece’s projects.
PM Mitsotakis and Rep. Bilirakis spoke about the progress of important proposed legislation of interest to Greece that has been introduced into the US House of Representatives. They also discussed the furthering of Greek-American ties, via the Greek-American diaspora.
Rep. Gus Bilirakis is a Greek-American lawyer and politician who has been serving as the U.S. Representative for Florida’s 12th congressional district since 2013. A member of the Republican Party, he first entered Congress in 2007. He succeeded his father Michael Bilirakis, representing Florida’s 9th congressional district.
Bilirakis Honored in Greece
Bilirakis was recently honored by the Secretary General of Hellenism Abroad and Public Diplomacy, Ioannis Chrysoulakis. He was given the honors for his outstanding contribution to Greece and the Greek-American diaspora at the University of West Attica.
The University of West Attica, one of Athens’ premier educational institutions, offered an honorary doctorate to Greek-American Congressman Gus Bilirakis at a ceremony in the Greek capital.
“It was a tremendous honor to get the honorary doctorate. It is a dream come true,” Rep. Bilirakis told Greek Reporter after the event. “Greece means everything in the world to me. My ancestors are from here. My roots are here. I am identified, and I am proud of it, as a Greek-American in Congress and all over the country.
“The Greek-Americans have a tremendous name and that is because our forefathers, were hardworking, diligent, and honest and they emphasized education, which is very important for us,” he added.
Panagiotis Kaldis, the Rector of the University of West Attica, who presented the honorary doctorate to Bilirakis, said that the second-generation Greek American Congressman is a “champion of Greek culture and language in the US.”
David Burger, Deputy Chief of Missions at the US Embassy, said at the ceremony that Rep. Bilirakis is not only a long-time friend of Greece, but more importantly, he is a real supporter of the US-Greece relationship.
Greek-American Bilirakis’ work in US House of Representatives
Bilirakis was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2006 and became the Florida 12th district’s second representative. He has been reelected three more times without substantive opposition.
Bilirakis is a member of the Republican Party’s Whip Team and is Chair of the Veterans’ Affairs Task Force for the Republican Policy Committee. He also serves serves as a Co-Chair of the Congressional Military Veterans Caucus and the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues.
In February 2013, Bilirakis, along with Rep. Ted Deutch formed the Congressional Hellenic-Israeli Alliance. He supported most of former President Donald Trump’s policies all through the magnate’s tenure in the White House and has spoken out regularly for the furtherance of Greek interests.