Saturday, May 18 2024
Scattered Clouds
63.68°F New York

FM heads to Washington with full agenda

ff9fec39953c4075af3ce5b9a1e2174d.jpg

The situation in Greece’s wider neighborhood, as well as bilateral defense cooperation, will be discussed by Foreign Minister George Gerapetritis and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday in Washington, as part of the fifth round of the Strategic Dialogue with the United States.

 

The agenda includes Greek-Turkish relations and the Eastern Mediterranean, the European viewpoint on the Western Balkans, the situation in the Middle East and the Red Sea, the conflict in Ukraine, and China. Bilateral defense cooperation with the F-35s as the main topic will be discussed, as will the possibility of co-producing Constellation-class frigates, as well as cooperation in security, civil protection, trade, and people-to-people exchanges. 

 

It is worth noting that the 9th Conference on the Climate Crisis and its Impacts (Our Ocean Conference) will be held in Athens on April 16-17, as well as a meeting between Gerapetritis and the special envoy for climate change, John Kerry. Gerapetritis and Blinken are due to sign the Artemis Accords, NASA’s space cooperation program.

It is obvious that in the current phase of Greek-Turkish relations, with the parallel F-35 program for Athens and F-16s for Ankara, maintaining a state of calm in the Aegean Sea, at a time of more general inflammation in the wider region, is an absolute priority for the US. These issues were also raised in the recent discussions that Blinken had in Souda on Crete with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. 

Athens expects Washington to, once again, recognize the strategic importance of Greece as an integral part of the regional security architecture in the Balkans and the Eastern Mediterranean, at a particularly critical time for the region and the world. Athens also anticipates that Washington will reaffirm its commitment to the 3+1 (Greece, Cyprus, Israel and the US) scheme and to ensure US support for Greece’s efforts to develop and better exploit renewable energy sources – via energy interconnectivity projects, pipelines and electricity interconnection projects.