US Vice President Michael Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave a warm welcome to Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at a State Department reception on Wednesday evening.
Pompeo and Pence spoke very warmly about Greece and the close strategic relationship between the two countries to some 300 guests.
“We’re enthused about the work that the Prime Minister is doing – the reforms he’s bringing to the Greek economy,” Pompeo said in his opening remarks.
“We’ve seen in our country, as our President has lowered taxes, put fewer regulations in place, created a great opportunity for risk-takers and entrepreneurs to grow their businesses, what that means for every citizen of our country. I know that will happen in Greece as well.”
“Think about the welcome turn of events: Greece is truly showing all of Europe the way forward on economic prosperity. That’s truly remarkable, Mr. Prime Minister,” Pompeo stated.
The Secretary of State then added “As for the U.S. Government, we will keep supporting you as a leader in Europe. We’ll keep supporting your prosperity, your security, and your democracy. The future will only grow brighter for our countries and our relationship together.”
Vice President Pence remarked that “as the President reflected in the Oval Office with you today, I am proud to report firsthand that, thanks to your leadership and the leadership of President Donald Trump, the bonds between the United States of America and Greece have never been stronger.”
He stated “Last year alone, our two nations engaged in nearly $3 billion in trade. But it’s not economic exchange that defines us. It’s really a shared philosophy of government. I saw the energy between you and President Trump yesterday in the Oval Office. I saw the friendship between you. And I also saw the common purpose, as Secretary Pompeo just reflected, in President Trump and in you, Prime Minister Mitsotakis.
“They are two leaders who believe that when you let people keep more of what they earn, when you roll back red tape, when you make government more efficient and you drive low-cost energy, making it available to job creators, economies proposer. And America and Greece are prospering thanks to your leadership and the leadership of President Donald Trump,” Pence concluded.
For his part, Prime Minister Mitsotakis spoke at length about the Greek-American relationship, saying that it has never been stronger.
“I am very proud to be leading Greece in these historic times for our bilateral relations, a relationship that can only go from strength to strength… I was very glad to hear you reaffirming what should be a very obvious fact: that Greece was, is, and will remain the most reliable ally that the United States will have in this part of the world,” Mitsotakis said.
The Greek Premier also enlarged upon the shared values of ancient Greece and America’s Founding Fathers.
“As we enter 2020, one should remember that this is also an important date, as we are celebrating 2,500 years from the historic battles of Thermopylae and Salamis, the battles that essentially allowed free Greece to flourish and create the classical civilization which served as a basis of inspiration for the entire world,” Mitsotakis noted.
He then added “But the Greek founding fathers of the Greek War of Independence, the Greek Revolution, were also inspired by the American Revolution, and took faith in what happened in the United States 40 years earlier.
“And next year is also a monumental date for Greece, as we will be celebrating 200 years since the beginning of the Greek Revolution – a story of courage, a story of freedom, a story of a small people who rose in one corner of the Ottoman Empire to establish the first free and independent state in this part of the world,” he stated.
“And during those 200 years, our country has gone through many adventures. We’ve faced catastrophes and triumphs, but hopefully we are now ready to write a new chapter in our history. And as we enter the third decade of the 21st century, I’m sure this is going to be a decade of prosperity and of great success for my country,” Mitsotakis concluded.