Following the meeting at the State Department on Monday with his US counterpart the Greek Foreign Minister began his visit to Washington.
The head of the Greek diplomacy during the meeting with the 69th United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson analyzed the situation in Southeastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, and how stability and security can prevail in the region as well as which forces are moving in which direction and how.
Nikos Kotzias stressed that Greece, the oldest democracy, is a stable ally and a friend of the US, always together in all struggles for freedom. He referred to the willingness to cooperate with the new administration and the importance of having open communication channels opened at the initiative of the Greek government with Trump’s staff even before he was elected.
The Greek Foreign Minister briefed Rex Tillerson on Greece’s position within the so called instability triangle of Ukraine, Syria, North Africa as well as on Greece’s role as a pole of stability, something for which, according to IBNA information, he showed great interest on and asked additional information concerning the map presented by Nikos Kotzias. He then asked about Greece’s relations with its neighbours. The Greek Foreign Minister, analysed the situation in the Balkan region, as well as the trilateral and multilateral cooperation which the Greek diplomacy enables in recent years.
The positive agenda promoted by Greece in the region, with the four party cooperation between Greece, FYRO Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, and the cooperation of the EU Member States in the Balkans, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece ,Romania, was a topic of discussion between the two counterparts.
Greece and Cyprus trilateral cooperation initiatives, with Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine, were also discussed while the importance of relations between Greece and Israel, as well as the need for Egyptian support – due to its strategic position it cannot be destabilised – were also discussed.
Energy issues were discussed during the meeting as Rex Tillerson comes from the energy sector, and he showed great interest in Kotzias’ reports about the importance of TAP, the IGB with Bulgaria, the Alexandroupolis vertical corridor to North Europe and the importance of the Revithoussa terminal.
Greece with all the above infrastructures but also with the future exploitation of reserves is a reliable partner that can contribute decisively to energy diversification and security in Europe.
The Greek Foreign Minister stressed “the importance for Greeks that Greece evolves into a an energy transfer center.” At the same time, he referred to other projects, such as creating road and rail networks as well network stability in the region. The energy networks, railways, cooperation between universities and research centers, Kotzias explained, “are above all, networks of stability and then producers of economic profit.”
Finally Nikos Kotzias, invited Rex Tillerson to visit Greece.
On his part, the American Foreign Minister, according to Greek diplomatic sources expressed certainty of victory in the fight against ISIS, sought the Greek Foreign Minister’s opinion on the next day following the defeat of the Islamic State and asked which other sources of destabilisation beyond ISIS are present.
Finally he referred to the importance of Greece – US relations, the role of Greece as a member of NATO and as a stabilizing factor in the region.
Nikos Kotzias, on Tuesday, will meet at the White House with National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster and deputy director K.T. McFarland./ΙΒΝΑ