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New US Ambassador Tsunis Sends First Message in Greek

Tsunis Greece
George J. Tsunis, an attorney who works in the hotel industry and is a personal friend of President Joe Biden, faced a hearing after he was appointed to Ambassador to Greece. Credit: US Senate Foreign Relations Committee

New US Ambassador to Greece George Tsounis arrived in Athens and posted his first message on Twitter in Greek: “Good morning from Athens,” he wrote.

He added that “As the proud son of Greek immigrants, it’s an honor of a lifetime to return to Greece and serve as the next U.S. Ambassador. I am very happy.”

Tsunis replaces Geoffrey Pyatt, who, after 6 years in Greece, has been nominated by President Biden as Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources.

The new ambassador is a Greek-American whose family is from Nafpaktos. He was officially confirmed by the United States Senate following a voice vote on March 10, 2022.

Ambassador Tsunis is said to be very close to Biden and Menendez

Tsunis is a personal friend of the US President. Once recommended by former President Obama for the appointment of ambassador to Norway, the businessman is said to be a personal choice of powerful Democratic philhellene senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey.

Addressing his hearing in January, Tsunis noted that as a first-generation American he was “blessed to live the American Dream,” stating that his parents had “heard Emma Lazarus’ calling” when they emigrated to the US from Greece.

He went on to laud US foreign policy in the past, saying that “If it wasn’t for the Truman Doctrine, Greece would have been pulled into the Soviet orbit” in past decades. He stated that he saw his possible ambassadorship as “a way to give back to the country that has given me so much.”

Declaring that “what happens in Greece matters” in areas including defense, his top goals if confirmed, Tsunis stated, would include the furthering of trade relations between the two countries as Greece continues to emerge from its economic problems of past decades.

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