US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt has deplored a maritime boundaries agreement signed late November between Turkey and Libya’s internationally-recognized government, while describing Greece as “part of the solution to the Eastern Mediterranean.”
Speaking at a conference organized by the American Hellenic Institute in Athens late Thursday, Pyatt said that the signing of the accord – which has raised hackles in Greece, Cyprus and Egypt – was detrimental to stability and cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean.
“[The memorandum of understanding] has raised tensions in the region and is unhelpful and provocative. These actions run contrary to the spirit of cooperation and stability that the United States has sought to encourage in this region,” Pyatt said.
He added that despite a long list of difficulties, including Ankara’s northern Syria incursion and its acquisition of Russia’s S-400 defense systems, Athens and Washington “recognize the importance of ensuring that Turkey remains firmly within our NATO alliance.”
Describing Greece as “central to our strategy for helping to build peace and stability in this wider region,” Pyatt said that Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ visit to the US next month, where he will meet with US President Donald Trump, will further strengthen bilateral ties between the two NATO allies.
“Mitsotakis’ visit to Washington and to the White House in January will be a fantastic opportunity to spread the word, to get the word out that Greece is changing fast, that Greece is open for business,” he said.