“I was saddened to learn my former colleague, Constantine Mitsotakis, has passed. We worked together on a number of pressing issues, but none more important than removing Iraqi forces from Kuwait following their brutal invasion in 1990. When it came to upholding international law and enforcing those tough UN sanctions against Saddam Hussein, my friend Constantine was solid as a rock. Barbara joins me in saluting his lifetime of public service to his beloved Greece, and in extending our sincere condolences to his family.”
With this exclusive comment to Kathimerini, George H.W. Bush, 41st president of the United States, expressed his profound respect for the late Greek prime minister whose term in office largely coincided with his own. In July 1991, Bush became the first US president to visit Greece in 32 years and in the June of the previous year, Mitsotakis was the first Greek premier to visit the White House since Georgios Papandreou in 1964.
Speaking to the press after their second meeting at the White House in December 1991, Bush hailed Greece as a stabilizing factor and defender of human rights in the Balkans, in new Europe and Cyprus, calling the country a partner in the effort to forge a new world order, of peace, prosperity and freedom. The US president also praised the Greek government’s reforms of the economy and the liberalization of trade and investments.