FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 14, 2015—No. 17
AHI President Larigakis, Prime Minister Tsipras Meet in Athens
WASHINGTON, DC— American Hellenic Institute (AHI) President Nick Larigakis recently completed a three-day visit to Athens, Greece where he met with top officials of the Greek government, including Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, April 4, 2015.
“I thank Prime Minister Tsipras for taking the time from his busy agenda, especially over the weekend, for a substantive discussion on issues of importance to the relationship between longtime allies, the United States and Greece,” Larigakis said. “Greece continues to face many challenges domestically and abroad. AHI looks forward to working with the Greek government to help address these challenges from the perspective of meeting our mission of strengthening relations between the United States and Greece.”
The 45-minute Saturday meeting between Prime Minister Tsipras and President Larigakis included detailed discussion on a number of issues impacting the relationship between the United States and Greece, including Greece’s economic crisis and the potential for Greece to foster an environment friendly to attracting investment. For the latter, Larigakis presented the prime minister with an AHI memo titled, “U.S. Government Programs to Assist Greece.” It presented ideas on how Greece can advance business and commerce between the United States and Greece through existing U.S. government programs that have the potential to assist Greece. Other areas discussed were the tourism sector and Larigakis emphasized the need for more direct international flights into Greece from the United States. Larigakis shared with the prime minister that during the past two years, AHI and partnering organizations have engaged with United Airlines to request that a direct (non-stop) airline route be established between Washington, DC and Athens, Greece.
In addition to Prime Minister Tsipras, Larigakis met with Minister of Defense Panos Kammenos, General of the Hellenic Army Michail Kostarakos, who is the chief of staff for the Hellenic National Defense; Lt. General Christos Vaitsis, chief, Hellenic Air Force General Staff; and Vice Admiral Evangelos Apostolakis, chief, Hellenic Navy General Staff; on April 7 to receive briefings about Greece’s latest military developments. Larigakis also met with Michali Kokkinou, general director, General Secretary Greeks Abroad.
“Undoubtedly, Greece is a proven, reliable, and invaluable ally of the United States, an integral contributor to NATO, and an crucial player to ensure the security of the region,” Larigakis said.
Also on April 7, Larigakis met with U.S. Ambassador to Greece David Pearce.
The American Hellenic Institute is a non-profit Greek American public policy center and think tank that works to strengthen relations between the United States and Greece and Cyprus, and within the Greek American community.
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