The much-anticipated first US-Greece Strategic Dialogue took place on Thursday in Washington in what both sides hailed as a “positive climate.”
Greek diplomatic reports said discussions between the two delegations – headed by Greece’s Alternate Foreign Minister Giorgos Katrougalos and US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Wess Mitchell – were “particularly fruitful” and focused on regional and economic issues as well as defense and security.
The proceedings were completed with a meeting between Katrougalos and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as well as a joint communique describing the significant progress made in bilateral ties and measures to deepen cooperation in the fields of defense and security, counterterrorism, regional issues, civil society, trade, investments and energy.
For his part, the chief of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff Admiral Evangelos Apostolakis, highlighted the prospects for further defense cooperation.
Sources said that American officials described 2018 as the best year in the recent history of bilateral ties and that both sides see to eye to eye on significant regional issues.
Moreover, the same sources said US officials stressed Greece’s stabilizing role in the Balkans and the Eastern Mediterranean despite the burden of its economic and financial crises.
The US delegation also voiced support for the name deal between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, hailing it as the most significant diplomatic achievement in the region in decades.
Katrougalos, who is scheduled to meet US National Security Adviser John Bolton on Friday, emphasized the importance of regional cooperation and Washington’s support of international law in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean.