Obama Receives New Greek Ambassador Panagopoulos
Washington, DC.- US president Barack Obama described US-Greek relations as excellent and said he looks forward to the continued cooperation between the two countries in all sectors, during a ceremony in which he received the credentials of Greece’s new ambassador to the US Christos Panagopoulos on Wednesday.
Addressing the President, Panagopoulos conveyed the warm greetings of Greek President Karolos Papoulias and prime minister Antonis Samaras and the Greek people, also noting the “excellent level” of Greek-US bilateral relations.
Panagopoulos referred to Greece’s role as a factor of stability, security and cooperation in its wider region, especially in SE Europe and the Middle East, while he also underlined the particular role of the large, powerful Greek community in the US as a constant factor of friendship and a human ‘bridge’ between the two peoples.
On the economic crisis Greece is currently undergoing, the Greek envoy said that it is not only a Greek crisis but a European and global crisis, and thanked President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for their ongoing support to Greece in facing the crisis as well as the heavy sacrifices of the Greek people.
Obama made special mention of the ancient Athenian democracy, which he called the “foundation stone” of the American commonwealth, and noted the excellent traditional relations between Greece and the US, expressing appreciation for Greece’s role as a factor of stability in the region and for the Greek American community.
The US President added that he looks forward to continuation of the cooperation between the two countries in all sectors.
Ambassador Panagopoulos joined the Greek Foreign Service in 1978 and brings to Washington many years of rich international experience and a unique understanding of global and European affairs, including an in-depth knowledge of the Balkans and South East Mediterranean issues.
Prior to his current post as Greece’s Ambassador to the U.S., Ambassador Panagopoulos served for the past four years as Director of the Diplomatic Cabinet of the Minister and of the Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs. Previously, he was Ambassador of Greece to the Republic of Serbia, after having spent five years as Ambassador to the Republic of Cyprus.
Ambassador Panagopoulos started his career at the Greek Embassy in Ankara. He has also worked on European issues, as Head of the European Integration Directorate, actively participating in the decision-making process of the European Union and in the promotion of the Transatlantic ties. His experience in South East Europe was acquired also during his tenure as head of the Directorate for Balkan Affairs.
Having also served as Consul General in Los Angeles and Dean of the New England Consular Corps in Boston, Ambassador Panagopoulos is no stranger to American politics. He now returns to the United States as Ambassador, at a time when Greek-American bilateral relations are at an unprecedented excellent level.
Born in Kalamata, Greece, in 1954, Christos Panagopoulos holds a Degree in Law from the University of Athens and a Master’s Degree in International Law and International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Boston, USA. He served in the Hellenic Navy at the Office of the Admiral, Chief of the Hellenic Fleet. He was also a member of the Junior National Water-polo Team of Greece.
Among other distinctions, Ambassador Panagopoulos is the recipient of the Grand Commander of the Order of Phoenix of the Hellenic Republic, as well as of the Grand Commander of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Cyprus.
Photo from greeknewsonline