Mitsotakis meets with bipartisan US Congress delegation

Mitsotakis meets with bipartisan US Congress delegation

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met with a bipartisan delegation of the United States Congress on Friday, on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference (MSC), and exchanged views on international and regional issues, with an emphasis on the consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

According to New Democracy party sources, Mitsotakis pointed out Greece’s support to Ukraine from the onset of the war, as well as Greece’s upgraded role in the broader region of South-Eastern Europe as a pillar of security and stability in terms of both geopolitics and energy. Greece’s role in protecting the European Union’s external borders was also discussed in relation to migration.

Views were also exchanged on the devastating earthquakes that hit Turkey and Syria, with Mitsotakis underlining Greece’s immediate response with search and rescue teams and humanitarian aid – which will continue, sources said.

Ahead of US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken launching the fourth round of the US-Greece Strategic Dialogue during his visit to Athens on February 21, Greece-US relations stand at an excellent level, Mitsotakis underlined.

The congressional delegation, led by Senator Lindsey Graham, includes Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Sheldon Whitehouse, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Richard J. Durbin, and Senator Chris Van Hollen.

In meetings with Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić and Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama. At these meetings, Mitsotakis reaffirmed Greece’s firm support for the Western Balkans’ European accession prospects.

The prime minister also participated on a panel on migration, in the sidelines of the conference.

EU member states need to provide solidarity to Greece, as a frontline country for migration and as a country whose borders are also EU borders, and which respects International Law and human rights, he said.

Regarding the issue of migration influxes, Mitsotakis pointed out as workable examples Greece’s separate agreements with Egypt and Bangladesh contracting a set number of economic immigrants to Greece as sending a message that EU countries are open to a legal migration corridor.

In terms of Turkey and migration, the neighboring country’s role comprises both a problem and an opportunity, particularly as the country has not yet fulfilled its 2016 migration management agreement with the EU. Greece, on the other hand, he noted, has “significantly reduced maritime migration flows, while our coast guard has saved hundreds of lives in the Aegean.” [AMNA]

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