ND leader welcomes bipartisan US bill on EastMed

ND leader welcomes bipartisan US bill on EastMed

Conservative opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis welcomed on Monday a bipartisan bill introduced by US Senators Robert Menendez and Marco Rubio that would alter US strategy in the Eastern Mediterranean, during a meeting with Menendez in Athens.

“Senator Menendez has always been a close ally of our country and I welcome publically the bipartisan legislative initiative to create a zone for energy security and geopolitical cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean,” he said after a meeting with the Democratic Senator.

“We are very pleased … that this initiative recognizes the importance of US relations with Greece, Cyprus and Israel. It is a policy that was initiated by past New Democracy administrations and is adopted by the current government.”

Mitsotakis said he hopes for a deepening of US-Greek relations particularly in attracting investment.

On his side, the US Senator noted the important role played by Greece in NATO, discussed the current political and economic turmoil in Venezuela and hailed Mitsotakis' stance on the issue.

The Senator met earlier with President Prokopis Pavlopoulos.

Menendez and Republican Senator Marco Rubio are the architects of the Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act that would require the US Secretary of State to submit to Congress a list of violations of Greece's airspace and of Cyprus's Exclusive Economic Zone and also seeks to lift the US arms embargo on Cyprus.

In an exclusive interview with Kathimerini on Sunday, Menendez described as optimistic the prospects that have been created in the eastern Mediterranean through the deepening of cooperation between Greece, Cyprus and Israel.

He also said that Washington will impose sanctions on Turkey and freeze the delivery of American-made F-35 fighter jets if the country proceeds with the acquisition and deployment of the Russian S-400 missile defense system.

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