US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will pay a visit to Greece on Saturday where he will meet PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis as part of a tour in the wider region from January 4 to 11.
The meeting will take place at Mitsotakis’ residence in Chania, Crete, in the afternoon.
State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller confirmed the visit during a daily briefing. Blinken will be “focused on several critical issues,” including a conversation with the Greek government about their continued support for Ukraine and ensuring regional maritime security.
“Greece is an important NATO ally and he’s looking forward to visit there to talk about Greece’s support for Ukraine, which has been longstanding, really since the outset of the conflict, safeguarding regional maritime security, and there will be other issues that we’ll talk about as well that I’m sure we’ll read out afterwards,” said Miller.
In response to a journalist’s question about whether the U.S. expects any specific outcomes regarding Greek support for Ukraine, the State Department representative said that more information would be available after the meetings conclude.
It was reported that the U.S. was negotiating with Greece about purchasing munitions for Ukraine in late November.
Blinken lauded the role that Greece played in previous visit
During his last visit in February 2023, Blinken lauded the role that Greece is playing throughout the region.
“The role that Greece is playing throughout the region as an energy hub, as a leader on climate, as a leader also for integrating countries further into Europe – the Western Balkans – is making a huge, huge difference and we’re grateful for that,” Blinken said.
The Secretary thanked Mitsotakis for Greece’s regional leadership, including its continued support to Ukraine.
He also encouraged Greece and Turkey to improve relations.
“Turkey and Greece are close friends and, of course, NATO allies. And both are very important partnerships and relationships for us. It was incredibly gratifying to see Greeks – and also, by the way, Armenians, Israelis – working shoulder to shoulder with Turks to help people in the earthquake,” he said upon his arrival to Athens.
He added that “if there can be anything positive coming from this catastrophe, maybe it is improved relations with these countries.”
The US state secretary is expected to visit Israel and the West Bank, Türkiye, Greece, Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.
According to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Press Office, a working meeting will follow, in which the Minister of Foreign Affairs Giorgos Gerapetritis, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexandra Papadopoulou, the director of the diplomatic office of the Prime Minister, Ambassador Anna Maria Boura and the special advisor for International Policy will participate as well as the Prime Minister’s Special Advisor on International Policy and Public Diplomacy, Aristotelia Peloni.