Government sources said early on Wednesday that the meeting between Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and U.S. President Donald Trump was excellent. They said that the two leaders discussed the full range of relations between the two countries while they had the opportunity to reconfirm the excellent level of bilateral relations and discuss ways to further enhance them.
As they said, U.S.-Greek relations are at their best phase. "I am very satisfied with today's meeting with President Trump," the prime minister said to journalists after the visit to the White House. The government added that during the meeting it was underlined that strategic cooperation with the U.S. would be continued and extended to all areas we consider a top priority, such as investment and defence, as the two countries share a common vision for the wider region of the Eastern Mediterranean.
They added that during the private meeting, the prime minister analysed with the U.S. president the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean and developed Greece's positions on illegal and provocative Turkish actions, including Turkey's Memorandum of Understanding with Libya, which destabilize the entire balance in the region.
"All issues related to Greek sovereign rights were raised emphatically. It became clear on the American side that we would not tolerate any violation of our sovereign rights," Mitsotakis told reporters, adding: "We had a confirmation of the already excellent Greek-American relations, clear public statements on the course of the Greek economy and President Trump's own understanding of the geopolitical challenges in the region and how we can be part of the solution, not the problem." The government also said that developments in the Cyprus settlement process were also discussed.
The prime minister, according to sources, reiterated that Greece's cooperation with Israel and Cyprus and the implementation of the East Med pipeline are not directed against anyone and are a work of peace and development in which everyone can participate. As they said, the U.S. President expressed his continued support for the close cooperation developed with these two partners.
They further added that the two sides agreed that the common goal should be to ensure stability in the wider region and to work together to prevent or limit provocative actions that increase tension. The same sources said that the prime minister outlined the government's actions to improve the economic climate in Greece by simplifying investment procedures, having as a model the investment at the former Hellenikon airport, and the implementation of the national privatisation programme. Defence cooperation is equally important for the U.S. and Greece, they stressed.
The prime minister also said in a conversation with reporters that negotiations are underway on Greece's participation in the F-35 programme aimed at acquiring a squadron of new-technology aircraft. The goal is, according to the government, based on the country's fiscal space, as soon as the F-16 upgrade is complete, to acquire the F-35s. This is expected to be based on the production capabilities of the F-35 from 2024 onwards. They underlined that our country's geostrategic position, as a pillar of stability in areas of crisis that interest the United States, is a given and should be further exploited in the context of our strategic relationship.
Government sources also said it was agreed that cooperation in the field of education should be strengthened through the strengthening of the scholarship programmes on both sides. With this aim, the minister of education has launched, in cooperation with the U.S. Embassy in Greece, the promotion of bilateral programmes for all levels of education. Among them a programme aimed at facilitating the approach of American and Greek Universities in order to launch long-term synergies, such as the development of joint curricula, the participation of foreign students in foreign language and summer programmes in our country, exchanges of students, academics and researchers and other forms of cooperation that the institutions themselves will decide.