Blinken arrives in Athens, meets with Mitsotakis

Blinken arrives in Athens, meets with Mitsotakis

United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Athens on Monday evening, uploading a statement on social media stating that together Greece and the United States are advancing their shared goals.

“Kalispera Greece! This is my first visit to the birthplace of democracy as Secretary of State. Together, the United States and Greece are advancing our shared goals for peace and prosperity in the Eastern Mediterranean, Western Balkans, Black Sea region, and beyond,” he said.

Blinken will meet with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Monday evening, and on Tuesday will meet with Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias to launch the Fourth US-Greece Strategic Dialogue. He will also meet with opposition leader Alexis Tsipras.

In Turkey, Blinken stressed his belief that Greece and Turkey can move forward following the aftermath of the destructive earthquake.

“Turkey and Greece are close friends and, of course, NATO Allies. And both are very important partnerships and relationships for us. It was incredibly gratifying to see Greeks – and also, by the way, Armenians, Israelis – working shoulder to shoulder with Turks to help people in the earthquake,” he said, adding that “if there can be anything positive coming from this catastrophe, maybe it is improved relations with these countries. I think Turkey has taken steps to try to improve relations. We very much support those. I look forward to conversations in Greece to see how we can be helpful.”

“I think both countries need to make efforts both to calm any tensions and also to find a positive way forward in improving relations. By the way, if some of these long-time disputes – for example, maritime disputes – can be resolved, then the possibilities are immense, notably for Turkey because Turkey would be at the heart of a flow of energy across the Mediterranean, also the Aegean, and the – but particularly in the Eastern Mediterranean from Northern Africa to Europe,” he said, concluding that “there’s a real benefit to resolving these longstanding differences because it just creates more opportunity for people.”

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