Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis plans to brief US President Donald Trump on Turkish violations in the Eastern Mediterranean and Aegean and the threat they pose to international stability and regional security, he told an event in Tarpon Springs, Florida, on the first of a four-day visit to the United States on Sunday night.
“I will discuss with him the serious dangers that Turkey's aggressive and illegal behavior raises for peace and security in the region. I will repeat that we will not tolerate any kind of violation of our sovereign rights. We will also discuss ways in which we can strengthen the strategic relationship between our two countries. These are times with unprecedented disturbances. We must always remember that our country is a pillar of stability in a region that is more and more unstable. We are, also, a long-term, reliable but also predictable ally of the great country that you call your new home. And I am certain that the strategic relationship between Greece and the U.S. will only grow stronger,” Mitsotakis said.
“Already, America, Europe, Russia and all the Mediterranean states – from France, Cyprus and Greece, to Israel and Egypt – have condemned Turkish behavior in Libya,” the Greek prime minister said, referring to Ankara’s decision to send troop to the North African country to back the government in Tripoli.
“And they are all reacting to [Turkey’s] unilateral actions on maritime zones,” Mitsotakis added in reference to the maritime borders deal signed last month between Ankara and the Tripoli-based government. “An alliance of peace and security is being raised against the threat of instability.”
Mitsotakis also hailed the passing of the Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act in the US and its signing by Greece, Cyprus and Israel, saying that it “reaffirms the US commitment to the region but also acknowledges Greece, Cyprus and Israel as pillars of stability in an increasingly volatile part of the world.”
The Greek prime minister was speaking at an event organized by the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA) for the Epiphany holiday, where he also held separate talks with Congressman Gus Bilirakis, his father and former representative Michael Bilirakis, Tarpon Springs Mayor Chris Alahouzos, AHEPA Supreme President George Horiatis, Treasurer Savvas Tsivikos and the event chair Steven Sakoulas.
“Hellenism needs to stand united,” Mitsotakis said in a speech at the AHEPA dinner, adding that the passing of a new law passed by Parliament in Greece on the overseas vote ensures that Greeks of the diaspora are no longer treated like “second-class citizens” and gives them a say in affairs of the Greek state.
Mitsotakis is scheduled to meet with the US president at the White House on Tuesday.