Biden-Mitsotakis meeting under way

Biden-Mitsotakis meeting under way

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is meeting at this moment with US President Joe Biden at the White House.

This is Mitsotakis’ second official visit to Washington. He had met with President Donald Trump in January 2020.

Mitsotakis’ current visit was to have taken place in 2021 but was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In his opening remarks, Biden referred to Russia’s aggression in UK and said the two had many things to talk about, such as Ukraine, trade and climate change. He also referred to the 201st anniversary of the start of the Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire.

“Sadly, Russia’s brutal attack on Ukraine is also a threat to democracy from autocrats who want to bear down on the rules-tested orders and rules-based orders. I want to thank you Mr Prime Minister for Greece’s moral leadership. It’s not easy, I know,” Biden said.

Mitsotakis referred to energy security in the Balkans, among other things, as well as the two nations’ being inspired by each other in their early stages. 

“Our relationship, I honestly believe, is at an all-time high,” Biden added.

Over the past decade, relations with the US have warmed significantly followed decades of tension as many Greeks blamed the US for its failure to condemn a 1967 coup d’ etat that brought in a 7-year military dictatorship as well as its perceived leaning toward nominal ally and regional rival Turkey, which still occupies part of Cyprus after nearly 48 years.

Relations notably improved throughout the four years the previous, left-led SYRIZA government was in power, belying the ruling Greek party’s oft-expressed opposition to US policies.

After the remarks, the two remained at the Oval Office to conduct their talks amid a din of journalists shouting questions, in vain, while being escorted out of the room.

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