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Secretary of State Blinken arrives in Athens

Ambassador Aghi Balta of the Office of Protocol and U.S. Ambassador George Tsounis welcome U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in Athens. Photo: @SecBlinken


United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken has arrived “at a time of great challenges”, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said welcoming the American official in Athens on Monday evening, and referring to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“It is very clear we must convey the message that every form of revisionism, every change of borders through violence, cannot be accepted by the international community of democratic states”, Mitsotakis said at opening statements to their meeting.

The Greek premier also spoke of Greece becoming an energy hub and ending its dependence on Russian natural gas imports, and the expressed his sadness over the earthquake devastation in Türkiye while reiterating Greece’s support to the neighboring country.

Blinken, who is visiting Greece for the first time under his current role, spoke of alliances created to support Ukraine, and praised Greece’s role as one of the first to express its support. Greece plays a leading role in the region, the US Secretary of State said, particularly in environmental issues and in promoting the EU accession of Western Balkan countries.

Referring to the launch of the 4th round of the Greece-US Strategic Dialogue – which he will inaugurate with his Greek counterpart, Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias, on Tuesday – Blinken said what linked Greece and the US was their commitment to democracy, a Greek idea.

Both Mitsotakis and Blinken spoke of the strong and strategic ties between the two countries, while Blinken added he looks forward to the deepening of relations between the two peoples.

In a statement on social media U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that together Greece and the United States are advancing their shared goals.

“Kalispera Greece! This is my first visit to the birthplace of democracy as Secretary of State. Together, the United States and Greece are advancing our shared goals for peace and prosperity in the Eastern Mediterranean, Western Balkans, Black Sea region, and beyond”, he said.

On Tuesday he will meet with Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias to launch the Fourth US-Greece Strategic Dialogue. He will also meet with opposition leader Alexis Tsipras.