Greece and the United States are at one of the best, if not the best phase of their bilateral relationship, Greek government spokesman Stelios Petsas said ahead of a scheduled meeting between Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and US President Donald Trump in Washington on Tuesday.
Speaking to state broadcaster ERT, Petsas said that Greece expects the US to confirm the country’s position as a stable and reliable ally, while also acknowledging that it is emerging from its decade-long crisis stronger and ready to attract foreign investments.
Regarding recent developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, Petsas said that the United States has stopped trying to maintain an equal distance between Greece and Turkey, and is “dealing with Turkish provocations with determination.”
Petsas condemned the recent maritime borders deal signed between Ankara and the Libyan government in Tripoli, saying that Greece has managed to “diplomatically isolate” Turkey.
The government spokesman referred to a recent law ratifying the upgrade of the country’s fleet of American F-16 and French Mirage fighter jets, saying that Greece is also interested in participating in the US’s F-35 program, “on the condition that it is on terms that we can meet financially.”
Greece, Petsas stressed, has no intention of “engaging in an arms race” with Turkey and will always keep the lines of communication between the two countries open, so that there can be, “if Turkey so desires, a stable relationship between us.”
“On the other hand, we cannot leave Greece without the forces it needs so that it is always able to do what it must to defend its sovereign rights,” he added.
Petsas confirmed that Mitsotakis and Trump will not be giving a joint press conference following their meeting at the White House, saying that what Athens is seeking is a “constructive discussion that will benefit Greece’s national interests.”
A visit to the White House, he said, sends a message not just to the Greek public, but to everyone in the “global sphere.”
“The meeting and the confirmation that Greece and the United States are going through one of the best, if not the best phase of their bilateral relationship is catalytic and everyone will have to keep it in mind when making their plans,” said Petsas.