Giorgos Katrougalos in New York and Washington

Giorgos Katrougalos in New York and Washington

US Deputy Foreign Minister Giorgos Katrougalos will travel to the United States on December 12-14 to have a series of meetings, both in New York at the first stop of his visit on December 12 and Washington on December 13-14.

In  New York, Katrougalos will meet with the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cyprus, Jane Holl Lute, who will travel to Nicosia in the coming days to continue consultations with the leaders of the two communities, as a continuation of the new initiative by the UN Secretary General to resolve of the Cyprus problem.

According to information of the International Balkan News Agency, apart from the meeting with Lute, the Greek deputy Foreign Minister might also have a meeting with the United Nations Special Representative for the naming dispute of fYROMacedonia, Matthew Nimetz, but the meeting has not been finalized yet.

Late in the evening of December 12, Katrougalos will head to Washington where he will meet with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo the following day, for the start of the Greek-US Strategic Dialogue, a meeting that had been finalized in September, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, by former Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias.

The United States, nearly two years after Donald Trump came to power, re-enforces its Foreign Policy, which is easily understood by the multiple meetings of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over the past three months with counterparts from around the world.

The particularity of Giorgos Katrougalos’ visit to the United States has to do with the strategic planning of the United States for closer multilevel cooperation with Greece on a number of issues of common interest.

The Strategic Dialogue process is structured on the basis of specific thematic axes of mutual interest, such as regional cooperation, defense and security, economic and trade relations, energy and cooperation on cultural and cultural issues.

More specifically, discussions will focus on the wider Balkan region and the Mediterranean area, the prospects and the role of Greece in the promotion of partnerships through the tripartite initiatives, the multilateral and multilateral cooperation with countries in the region, and the Prespes Agreement, all of which strengthen cooperation and stability, highlighting Greece as a pillar of stability and security.

Also in the agenda will be investments, infrastructure and network development, as well as economic cooperation in the Balkan region, the refugee issue, bilateral security and defense issues, developments in the Middle East, terrorism and border security.

Particular emphasis will be placed on the energy sector, both through the TAP, IGB, EastMed interconnection pipelines, the gas terminals in Alexandroupolis and Revythoussa, as well as renewable energy sources.

The delegation of Greek officials will include the Deputy Minister of Economy and Development, S. Giannakidis, the Deputy Minister of Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Information, L. Kretsos, the Chief of the General Staff of the Hellenic Armed Forces, Admiral E. Apostolakis, the Foreign Ministry Secretary General responsible for International Economic Relations, G. Brachos, the Secretary General of Energy and Mineral Resources of the Ministry of Environment and Energy, M. Veríopoulos, as well as other officials.

This historical development in Greek-American relations is of course not going to be without continuity. On the contrary, delegations from both sides are expected to meet systematically at least once a year to further promote cooperation. The next meeting is scheduled for 2019 in Greece./IBNA