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A farewell lunch for US Ambassador Pyatt

Greek Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias held a farewell lunch in honor of outgoing US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt on Thursday. 

Pyatt has served at the Athens post since October 2016, an unusually long tenure.

Dendias thanked Pyatt “for his valuable contribution to further advancing the Greece-US strategic relationship and cooperation during his tenure in Greece”, in a message he posted on Twitter.

According to diplomatic sources, Dendias referred during the lunch to the difficult circumstances under which the ambassador carried out his work, including the coronavirus pandemic and more recently the Russian invasion of Ukraine, where Pyatt he noted had also served as ambassador.

Unfortunately, the FM said, the departure of the American ambassador coincides with a spike in Turkish violations, which involved at least 40 Turkish F-16s flights over Greek territory including residential areas on Wednesday, acts which are occurring during a critical time for NATO.

Dendias highlighted in his speech the two amendments of the US-Greece Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement (MDCA), his regular contacts with his American counterparts – initially with Mike Pompeo and then with Antony Blinken – and with members of the US Senate and the House of Representatives, starting with chair of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee Robert Menendez.

Ambassador Pyatt showed a special interest in Greece and the Greeks, the minister added, going beyond a strict diplomatic protocol to visit many regions of Greece.

The lunch was attended by Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Andreas Katsaniotis, the chair of the Greek Parliament’s National Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee, and ambassadors of other countries including of Great Britain, France, Germany, India, Canada, Australia and the Netherlands.