Kotzias, Tiller­son dis­cuss Greek en­ergy prospects

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

For­eign Min­is­ter Nikos Kotzias stressed the im­por­tant role Greece can play as a pil­lar of sta­bil­ity in a volatile re­gion and its prospects as a re­gional en­ergy hub in his meet­ing yes­ter­day with US Sec­re­tary of State Rex Tiller­son in Wash­ing­ton.

Diplo­matic sources said that Greek-Turk­ish re­la­tions were raised and Kotzias re­ferred to “Turkey’s ner­vous­ness” with re­gard to the re­cent es­ca­la­tion of in­cen­di­ary re­marks em­a­nat­ing from Ankara. But re­la­tions with Turkey were not the the fo­cus of their talks, as Kotzias opted to high­light the over­all strate­gic ad­van­tages Greece can of­fer the US, such as in the field of en­ergy, which was re­port­edly dis­cussed ex­ten­sively.

Kotzias told jour­nal­ists af­ter the meet­ing that Tiller­son “wanted our anal­y­sis on how there can be sta­bil­ity and se­cu­rity in the re­gion, which forces are ac­tive and how.”

More specif­i­cally, Kotzias pre­sented Tiller­son with a map of the wider Eastern Mediter­ranean and the Balkans, point­ing out Greece’s value as the most sta­ble coun­try in the re­gion and a valu­able as­set for Europe’s en­ergy se­cu­rity.

Kotzias also ex­tolled the strong his­toric ties bind­ing the two coun­tries. He re­port­edly told his Amer­i­can coun­ter­part that Greece, “the most an­cient democ­racy,” is a sta­ble ally and friend of the US, and that both coun­tries have fought side by side in all the great wars for free­dom.

The for­eign min­is­ter em­pha­sised on Greece’s strong re­la­tions with Is­rael, and stressed Egypt’s strate­gic im­por­tance, as well as the need to sup­port Cairo so that it con­tin­ues to be a sta­ble player in the re­gion.

The same sources also re­vealed that the Greek gov­ern­ment had sought to estab­lish lines of com­mu­ni­ca­tion with the cam­paign of Don­ald Trump be­fore he was elected.

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