On Monday, President Joe Biden thanked Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis for his country’s “moral leadership” following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as the two held talks in the White House on the ongoing conflict.
Mitsotaki’s visit comes when he was in Washington to commemorate the COVID delayed commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the beginning of the Greek War of Independence, a more than eight-year-long struggle that led to the expulsion of the Ottoman Empire. President and First Lady Jill Biden welcomed Mitsotakis and his wife, Mareva Grabowski-Mitsotakis, later on Monday to the White House’s second anniversary reception.
But the holiday season was overshadowed by the continent’s most significant conflict since World War II, and as Biden sought to keep the West united as it pressured Russia to end the war.
“We are now facing Russia’s united challenge of aggression,” Mitsotakis said at the outset of his meeting with Biden. The prime minister added that relations between the United States and Greece were “at an all-time high”.
As Europe seems to be getting used to Russian energy, Mitsotakis has pushed for the idea of Greece becoming an energy hub capable of transporting gas from southwest Asia and the Middle East to Eastern Europe.
A new pipeline from Greece to Bulgaria – built during the COVID-19 pandemic, tested and due to start up for business in June – is expected to bring large amounts of gas between the two countries in both directions to generate electricity, fuel and heat.
The new pipeline connection, called the Greece-Bulgaria Gas Interconnector, will provide Bulgaria with access to neighboring Greece’s importing liquefied natural gas, or LNG, and will also bring gas from Azerbaijan through a new pipeline system ending in Italy. Russia announced last month that it was halting exports of natural gas to Bulgaria and Poland over its refusal to pay in rubles.
The Oval Office’s meeting with Biden also comes after Greece, a NATO nation, last week formally extended its bilateral military agreement with the United States for five years, instead of an annual review of the agreement giving the US military access to three mainland military bases. Greece and the presence of the US Navy on the island of Crete.
Mitsotakis has voiced support for Finland and Sweden to join NATO’s defense alliance, a development welcomed by a large group of 30 nations, with the exception of Tukey, which is still embroiled in a decades-long dispute with Greece over its maritime and mineral borders. rights in the eastern Mediterranean.
On Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on the other hand, expressed some opposition to accepting Finland and Sweden, accusing the two countries of supporting Kurdish militants and others whom Turkey considers to be terrorists.
“Neither country has an open, clear stance against terrorist organizations,” Erdogan told a joint news conference with the Algerian president during a visit. “We can not say ‘yes’ to those imposing sanctions on Turkey in connection with NATO membership, which is a security institution.”
Mitsotakis, appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Monday, expressed optimism that Turkey would not eventually support Finland’s and Sweden’s offer to join NATO, and speculated that Erdogan could use the moment to win a Biden concession. . administration of arms sales or other matters.
“This is not really the right time to use NATO membership (application) of these two countries to negotiate other issues,” he said.
In addition to his address to Congress, Mitsotakis is scheduled to be honored on Tuesday at a luncheon hosted by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who will meet with members of the Hellenic Parliamentary Assembly and members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Biden praises Greece for leadership after invasion of Russia
Source link Biden praises Greece for leadership after invasion of Russia