Biden offers full support to Mitsotakis

Washington’s intention to support Athens was reportedly made loud and clear in the telephone call between the U.S. President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis last Thursday on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the start of the Greek War of Independence.

“If you need anything, call me. I’m here to help,” Biden reportedly told Mitsotakis – an offer which carries added significance given that no one can discount Ankara’s stance in the coming months. At the same time the foundations were laid for Mitsotakis to visit to the White House within the year.

If anything, the phone call reflected the open line of communication between the two capitals, and the U.S. involvement in the region after its resounding absence during the era of Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump, during which time Ankara challenged Greece’s sovereign rights, not least with its Oruç Reis research vessel conducting surveys over several months last year. 

The conversation between the two men included all issues concerning the eastern Mediterranean, marking what Athens sees as Washington’s return to the region. 

The stance of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was assessed, while the U.S. president appeared completely opposed to a two-state solution in Cyprus, which is something Ankara has been pushing in earnest, in defiance of the relevant United Nations resolutions. 

Regarding China, Mitsotakis reportedly stated that Greece will not procure the 5G system from China, but added that the presence of Cosco in the port of Piraeus is a reality that cannot be overturned.

All in all, according to close associates of Mitsotakis, Wednesday and Thursday last week, which marked the bicentenary of the beginning of the Greek Revolution, were a particularly positive couple of days with regard to Greece’s profile on the world stage.

The arrival in Athens of Prince Charles, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and French Defence Minister Florence Parly, as well as the tributes paid to Greece around the world are seen to reflect a new era for the country.

His aides said that the current image of the country has nothing to do with that of the last decade, when it was Europe’s problem child due to its massive debt and large deficits that led it to the brink of bankruptcy. 

(A version of this article was originally published by the Kathimerini and reproduced by permission.)

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