Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias stressed the important role Greece can play as a pillar of stability in a volatile region and its prospects as a regional energy hub in his meeting on Monday with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Washington.
Diplomatic sources said that Greek-Turkish relations were raised and Kotzias referred to “Turkey’s nervousness” with regard to the recent escalation of incendiary remarks emanating from Ankara. But relations with Turkey were not the the focus of their talks, as Kotzias opted to highlight the overall strategic advantages Greece can offer the US, such as in the field of energy, which was reportedly discussed extensively.
Kotzias told journalists after the meeting that Tillerson “wanted our analysis on how there can be stability and security in the region, which forces are active and how.”
More specifically, Kotzias presented Tillerson with a map of the wider Eastern Mediterranean and the Balkans, pointing out Greece’s value as the most stable country in the region and a valuable asset for Europe’s energy security.
Kotzias also extolled the strong historic ties binding the two countries. He reportedly told his American counterpart that Greece, “the most ancient democracy,” is a stable ally and friend of the US, and that both countries have fought side by side in all the great wars for freedom.
The foreign minister emphasised on Greece’s strong relations with Israel, and stressed Egypt’s strategic importance, as well as the need to support Cairo so that it continues to be a stable player in the region.
The same sources also revealed that the Greek government had sought to establish lines of communication with the campaign of Donald Trump before he was elected.