State Department: Greece anchor of stability in East Med and Western Balkans

State Department: Greece anchor of stability in East Med and Western Balkans

Washington is cultivating Greece as “an anchor of stability in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Western Balkans,” said Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Wess Mitchell, in a speech at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, in which he outlined the Trump administration’s strategy in Europe.

Mitchell also expressed Washington's opposition to Turkey's rhetoric and policies towards its neighbors that are close friends and allies of the US.

He said the US is working to put the pieces in place for a stronger, long term US strategic presence in eastern Mediterranean, and in that context Washington views Cyprus as “a vulnerable state that needs greater western attention while continuing the process toward a bizonal, bicommunal federation.”

As he highlighted the important role of the transatlantic partnership in guarding the peace, order, and prosperity the US and Europe have nurtured since the end of the Second World War, Mitchell described the development of energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean as “a major plank of European energy diversification as Europe's traditional northern fields wind down.”

Speaking about Turkey he noted that “[the US cannot be silent when Turkey’s leaders curb democratic freedoms and the rule of law, harangue Israel, and wield rhetoric or pursue policies that unnerve Ankara’s neighbors and [America's] close friends and allies.”

In that context he explained that if Turkey proceeds with the purchase of Russian S-400s, that move will influence its participation in the programs of military cooperation with the US, including the production and sale of the F-35 fighter planes.

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