George Tsounis: US strongly supports Greece’s growing leadership in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Western Balkans, the Mediterranean

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In Greek ideals of kindness, love, respect, democracy, referred to in his first public speech as US Ambassador to Greece, George Tsounis expressing the belief that these values ​​are some of the greatest gifts of Greece in the world.

At an event organized by the new US ambassador at his embassy a few hours after the presentation of credentials to President Katerina Sakellaropoulou, George Tsounis stressed that the relationship between the US and Greece has never been stronger or more important.

He also reiterated that there could not be a better time to serve as US ambassador to Greece.

In fact, he praised the “leading role” of Greece in strengthening democracy in the Balkans, because it promotes regional prosperity and stability. He said that US President Joe Biden is a great friend of Greece and stressed that the United States strongly supports Greece’s growing role in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Western Balkans, the Black Sea region and beyond.

Regarding Greek-American relations, he said that although the two countries have achieved a lot, there is room to further deepen their cooperation and synergy. In this context, he expressed his commitment to work with the Prime Minister, the Greek Government, the Greek people and the “amazing Greek Diaspora” to advance their common goals of peaceful prosperity together.

Referring to the forthcoming visit of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to the United States, he described it as historic and noted that the invitation of the Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, by the bipartisan leadership of the Congress, to the Prime Minister to speak in two joint sessions. Congress (House and Senate) is the highest honor that the US legislature can bestow on a foreign leader.

“These invitations have been extended because what is happening in Greece is important, not only for Greece and the United States, it is important for the entire Eastern Mediterranean region and much more. Our cooperation strengthens NATO. It makes the European Union more prosperous and secure. “This strength and unity is more important today than ever,” he said.

Speaking in a personal tone, said a proud Greek-American with deep ties to Greece and noted that it is a great honor to return to his roots and have the opportunity to serve America from here.

He also praised the “great work and achievements” of former US Ambassador to Greece Jeffrey Payat, the US Embassy and Consul General in Thessaloniki Elizabeth Lee. “It is an extraordinary legacy that leaves behind the solid foundations on which we must build,” said George Tsounis.

Regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the American ambassador said that it is an unprovoked war that has cost so many innocent lives and has tragically destroyed Mariupol, a stronghold of Greek identity. Citing Blinken, he said that as Putin’s war raged in Ukraine, “we must increase our resolve and resist those who now seek to manipulate historical memory to further their own ambitions.” He added that Putin had tried to distort history to justify his unprovoked and brutal war, and that those studying history knew that President Zelensky and the brave people of Ukraine embodied the spirit of those who prevailed during World War II. “They are defending their sovereignty, their democracy and the just future of Ukraine in a free and peaceful Europe,” he added.

In addition, he made special reference to the role of Greece in the victory of the allied forces over fascism and the forces of tyranny. “Greece was the first allied power to defeat an Axis power. “The Greek people inspired the people with the strength of their character, when they bravely stood up and said ‘No’ to Mussolini on October 28, 1940, a day that the Greeks proudly celebrate every year until their entry into World War II,” he said. .

George Tsounis made a special reference to NATO, pointing out that through the multiple threats we face, he remains the cornerstone of US and European defense policy. “The success of our transatlantic alliance, more important today than ever before, lies in the collective ambition of all NATO members to uphold world peace and the values ​​of freedom, democracy and self-government that we all share,” he said.

“We are at the forefront of the struggle between the democratic values ​​that were born here in Athens and the voices of tyranny and authoritarianism,” he said, adding that “our collective response today will determine the future of our world.” He also pointed out that all democracies worldwide have a sacred obligation to promote democratic ideals and to stand united against these forces of darkness that seek to overthrow the internationally based order on which our collective security and prosperity are based. After all, he urged in such moments, it is useful to turn for guidance to the Ancient Greeks and added that we must always choose to do what is right, “to stand, as Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis aptly said,” on the right side of history. ” ».

Finally, he did not fail to express their gratitude to his parents – Eleni’s mother participated in the event – who taught him, as he said, to never forget his roots and the Greek ideals of kindness, love and above all love for honor, respect, together with democracy.

The event at the American House was attended, among others, by the Ministers of Finance Christos Staikouras, Development and Investment Adonis Georgiadis, Education Niki Kerameos, Tourism Vassilis Kikilias, Minister of Immigration and Asylum Notis Mitarilotis, Minister of Culture Lina Mitarakis Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs Andreas Katsaniotis, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Head of Foreign Affairs of SYRIZA George Katrougalos, the Secretary General of International Economic Relations and Extroversion of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Giannis Smyrlis, the Secretary General of Foreign Affairs advisor to the president of SYRIZA Vangelis Kalpadakis, the governor of Attica George Patoulis, heads and representatives of foreign diplomatic missions in Greece.

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