Greece and the US have taken their partnership to new frontiers as Greek Foreign Minister Georgios Gerapetritis signed the Artemis Accords for space exploration at the fifth US-Greece Strategic Dialogue.
Greece and the US Advance their Cooperation on Space Exploration
In the company of NASA administrator Bill Nelson and Professor of Space Physics at the University of Athens Dr Ioannis Daglis, Greek Foreign Minister Georgios Gerapetritis signed the Artemis Accords, meaning Greece has joined the US and 33 other nations to advance a shared vision for safe, peaceful, sustainable space exploration.
Speaking at the meeting in Washington, US Secretary of State Anthony J. Blinken said, “We’re working to shape the future of how our countries operate in space so that benefits are maximized for all people for generations to come. That’s why in October the Artemis Accords signatories identified steps to help us deconflict space missions and avoid space accidents.”
He continued, “Our coalition now will be stronger with Greece. It’s an important member of the European Space Agency, where it’s helping to craft the next generation of communications technology so that people around the globe can share information more freely and more securely. And Greece is positioning itself as a leader in using small satellites to monitor our Earth’s environment and improve our understanding of climate change.”
The US Secretary of State then said that through these accords, the two countries will draw upon contributions made by Greece and its space experts throughout history, adding, “In ancient times, Plato argued that the sun, the moon, the planets moved on circular paths. Over the last few decades, it was a Greek American physicist, Tom Krimigis, who helped NASA conduct experiments on all of the major planets in our solar system.”
Blinken went on to quote ancient Greek philosopher Glaucon, who said that astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another.
The US Secretary of State also made mention of the two countries’ cooperation with regards to peace and stability, highlighting their mutual stand with Ukraine, defence of freedom of navigation in the Red Sea, efforts to confront terrorism and provision of lifesaving humanitarian assistance to people who need it.
Gerapetritis enlarged on this cooperation during his speech, wherein he said, “What is urgently needed is global cooperation based on ethical commitments under the auspices of international law. This is, after all, the epitome of global governance, calling for rule-based international orders and universal solidarity.
“In this respect, the further cultivation of our bilateral ties, as well as of the transatlantic cooperation, is of the utmost importance. And it is important that we’re here, one of the oldest members of the European Union and of NATO, in order to discuss together and find new ways of cooperation.”
He added, “We actively support EU enlargement to the Western Balkans and Ukraine. We underline the respect of international law and of the law of the seas. We urge to resume talks concerning the Cyprus problem towards a viable solution according to the resolutions of the security council of the European nations.”
Gerapetritis went on to talk about the Middle East, “In relation to the Middle East, we are in a position by virtue of our relations with all involved parties to work constructively to prevent further humanitarian deterioration. And I would like to take this opportunity to stress Secretary’s Blinken tireless efforts to prevent the escalation in the humanitarian catastrophe of – in the Middle East, from where he just came back. We are all grateful for his efforts.”