Greek Premier Kyriakos Mitsotakis kicked off his official visit to the United States from Tarpon Springs, Florida on Sunday afternoon, where he met with hundreds of Greek-Americans who live in the city and the surrounding area.
Mitsotakis sent a clear message to Ankara while speaking to the audience at an event hosted by the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA).
Addressing the attendees, the Greek Prime Minister stated that he will inform President Trump about the current political situation in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea during their meetings in Washington D.C.
Οι Έλληνες της Αμερικής στάθηκαν δίπλα στην Ελλάδα. Κρατούν ζωντανές τις ρίζες μας και την κληρονομιά τους και ανανεώνουν τους δεσμούς με την πατρίδα, προωθώντας τα δίκαιά της. Ευχαριστώ την ελληνική κοινότητα στο Tarpon Springs για τη θερμή υποδοχή. https://t.co/FkZpcC0k2A pic.twitter.com/YqdP0agXxW
— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) January 6, 2020
”We will examine together the unbreakable Greek-American ties and their prospects at all levels. However, I will also brief him (President Trump) on developments in the SE Mediterranean; where, unfortunately, Turkey is violating international law, challenging all neighboring countries and threatening international stability and security in the region,” Mitsotakis noted.
”Already, America, Europe, Russia and all the Mediterranean states – from France, Cyprus and Greece to Israel and Egypt – have condemned the Turkish behavior in the region, and everyone is reacting against its unilateral actions in the maritime zones,” the Greek PM continued.
Mitsotakis also spoke about his government’s initiatives to grant voting rights from their place of residence to Greeks who live abroad, and also referred to current affairs, including the EastMed gas pipeline, which will connect Israel with Cyprus, Greece and Italy.
”In previous, difficult times, your great grandparents, grandparents and your parents left their homeland, looking for a better life in this hospitable country. They loved her (the US) but they never forgot their old home.
“The Greeks of America, throughout the 20th century, stood by Greece. They came back to fight in wars, but they also helped her morally and materially from here. Of course, they did not forget her (Greece) in peacetime either. So many schools, hospitals and institutions continue to bear the stamp of our expatriates!” Mitsotakis related to the enthusiastic audience.
The Greek Premier held separate meetings with US Congressman Gus Bilirakis, as well as his father and former representative Michael Bilirakis.
Mitsotakis also met with Tarpon Springs Mayor Chris Alahouzos, AHEPA Supreme President George Horiatis, its Treasurer Savvas Tsivikos and the event chair Steven Sakoulas.
The last time a high-ranking Greek official visited Tarpon Springs was way back in 1922 when Greece’s Ethnarch Eleftherios Venizelos visited the town, but he was not a prime minister at that time.