Trump-Mitsotakis Meeting Exceptionally Timely, US Strategist Says

The meeting between Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis and President Donald Trump at the White House on Tuesday went exceptionally well for the Greek side, geopolitical strategist John Sitilides says in an interview with Greek Reporter.

“The Trump-Mitsotakis meetings were marked by an exceptional timeliness that could not have been better planned,” Sitilides remarks, adding “at a time when President Trump is laser-focused on geopolitical turmoil in the Middle East, Mitsotakis laid out Greece’s concerns.”

The US-based expert hit back at those who criticized Mitsotakis, claiming that he had failed to achieve concrete results in his meetings at the White House.

“No political leader – including a U.S. President, Democratic or Republican – achieves all his country’s objectives when meeting with foreign counterparts. What President Trump and Prime Minister Mitsotakis have achieved at their first official meeting is a superb start to building a closer working relationship based on personal trust, military alliance and mutual political and social values,” Sitilides states.

He went on to explain that “They won’t solve every problem immediately, but they have formed the basis for resolution on a timetable that can work for both countries, along with objectives that can increasingly harmonize in the months and years ahead.”

Referring to Mitsotakis’ statement that Greece will stand by its US ally in the face of the escalating crisis with Iran, Sitilides notes that the Greek premier correctly did not spell out exactly what he had meant by those words. “These matters are discussed at the diplomatic level and are not revealed in public,” he says.

The Greek-American strategist also points out that Iran’s deadly radical terror networks in Syria, Lebanon and Gaza directly impact political risk concerns throughout the Eastern Mediterranean region.

“This is where Greece’s national security interests involving Turkey, Cyprus, Israel, Egypt and Libya all converge,” he stresses.

“Greece was earlier viewed by many in Washington as one half of a troubled NATO relationship with Turkey in southern Europe. Today, President Trump and his top national security advisors view Greece as the cornerstone for U.S., NATO and international security in one of the world’s most complex geopolitical landscapes,” says Sitilides.

He believes that Washington and Athens will not come to full agreement on every single security issue, especially pertaining to Turkey.

“Even the Pentagon isn’t in full agreement”, he says, going on to explain the situation as he views it at present. “The U.S. European Command views Turkey as a long-standing NATO ally that possesses one of the world’s ten most powerful military forces, and its officers value the institutional U.S.-Turkey relationships that have been forged over the decades.

The strategist concludes by saying “U.S. Central Command views Turkey as an increasingly severe problem in achieving Washington’s goals versus adversaries such as Iran, Syria, Islamic State and other regional Sunni terror groups, as well as in supporting allies and friends such as Israel and Kurdistan.”

John Sitilides is a geopolitical strategist specializing in global risk analysis at Trilogy Advisors LLC.