The United States has made a “strategic decision” whereby Greece is the “ideal partner” in the quest to bring stability and prosperity to a “complex” region, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Matthew Palmer has said.
This has been an “excellent” year in US-Greek relations Palmer said, speaking at the 20th Capital Link Forum, which opened in New York on Monday.
Increasing “economic and interpersonal” ties between Washington and Athens were exemplified on a symbolic level, Palmer said, by the American presence at last September's Thessaloniki International Fair, where the USA was the honored country.
Both Greece and the US want to see the Western Balkans and Turkey “firmly anchored” in the western and Euro-Atlantic institutions, Palmer added, saying that in this framework, Greece is seen “not just as a market of 11 million people, but as a gateway to the Western Balkans.”
The American official added, however, that completion of the Prespes name deal with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is vital for Greece in this regard.
Thanks to its partnerships with Israel, Egypt and Cyprus, Greece is a “vital” player in shaping Southeastern Europe's energy map, Palmer said, also highlighting the deepening strategic relationship between Athens and Washington.