WASHINGTON, DC — The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) sent a letter to President Donald J. Trump ahead of his scheduled meeting with Prime Minister of Greece Alexis Tsipras at the White House, October 16, 2017.
In the October 12, 2017 letter, AHI President Nick Larigakis shared AHI’s perspective on the U.S.-Greece relationship, contending the U.S. should have a “special relationship” with Greece based upon Greece’s strategic location in southeastern Europe where the U.S. has important political, economic and military interests. Larigakis cited examples of how Greece advances U.S. security interests in the region, including its participation in counterterrorism exercises with the United States. Moreover, through Naval Support Activity (NSA) Souda Bay, Crete, Greece has been critical to the delivery of U.S. troops, cargo, and supplies, providing access and extending the U.S. and NATO’s reach into the Middle East and North Africa.
“Greece is frontline state in the fight against terrorism,” Larigakis wrote.
President Larigakis stated that defense cooperation between the United States and Greece is strong. However, he added there is room for enhancement, including bolstering investment in Greece’s International Military Education and Training (IMET) program and working toward achieving the capital improvements necessary to the facilities at NSA Souda Bay.
In addition, AHI’s letter addressed Greece’s economy and identified what the U.S. can do to continue to help with its recovery.
Larigakis wrote, “It is imperative to the national interest of the United States for Greece to be successful in its economic recovery. Therefore, it is important for the U.S. government to assist the Greek government at every opportunity as Greece turns the corner on its economy toward recovery.”
- Read: AHI’s letter to President Trump (1.9 MB PDF)
The American Hellenic Institute is an independent 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.