NEWS

US ambassador highlights northern Greece's strategic role

TAGS: Diplomacy, Energy

Washington aims to help make northern Greece an entry point for the transfer of gas and commodities into the Western Balkans, according to US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt.

In an interview with Kathimerini published on Sunday, Pyatt said the US is interested in investing in the region’s energy networks, highlighting the importance of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) and the IGB pipeline connecting Greece and Bulgaria, as well as the rail link between the two countries.

More specifically, Pyatt said American investors are interested in having a stronger presence in northern Greece and that this will materialize over the next 12 months in the runup to next year’s Thessaloniki International Fair, when the US will be the country of honor.

He added that Washington and Athens are in full agreement that Western Balkan countries should mover closer to joining NATO and the European Union, if they choose to do so.

He said, however, that this is a vision shared by Greece and the US, but not by everyone.

Pyatt also lauded the close defensive cooperation between the two countries, citing the importance of the US NATO naval base at Souda Bay on Crete.

He noted, however, that the US would have preferred a longer-lasting defense cooperation agreement.

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