Mitsotakis to brief party leaders after US trip


Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis plans to brief Greece’s political party leaders on recent foreign policy developments immediately after his return from the US, where he will hold talks with President Donald Trump in Washington on Tuesday, according to reports Friday.

In an interview with Canadian daily The Globe and Mail published on Friday, Mitsotakis referred to the recent maritime boundaries accord between Turkey and Libya’s Tripoli-based government, insisting that Athens “will not permit any Turkish activities that would infringe upon Greece’s sovereign rights.” 

However, he noted that “we are ready to talk with all our neighbors, including of course Turkey.”

“And if no agreement can be reached, we are even open to international jurisdiction,” he said. But, he added, “the red lines cannot be crossed by anyone.”

In his talks in Washington, Mitsotakis will seek to highlight Greece’s role as a pillar of regional stability and its strategic relationships with the US. He will also brief the American political leadership on the EastMed pipeline which Greece, Israel and Cyprus have agreed to construct to transfer natural gas from the Eastern Mediterranean to Europe.

Speaking to reporters about the pipeline on Friday, government spokesman Stelios Petsas described it as a launch pad for Greece to upgrade its geopolitical standing and cooperation with all the countries in the region and to reap significant financial benefits.

Mitsotakis’ four-day visit, which begins on Sunday, will also include meetings with US Senators and prominent leaders of the Greek-American community. He will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos, Development Minister Adonis Georgiadis, Education Minister Niki Kerameus and government spokesman Petsas.

Before his meeting with Trump, he will hold talks on the same day with International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva.

On Wednesday, he will visit the US Senate and meet with members of the Foreign Relations Committee, before meeting Republican and Democrat leaders in the House of Representatives.

He will also attend a reception on the same day hosted by US Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.