Kyriakos Mitsotakis

Remarks at a U.S. Diplomatic Reception Event

delivered 8 January 2020, Ben Franklin Room, Department of State, Washington, D.C.

Audio AR-XE mp3 of Address


[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text version below transcribed directly from audio]

Thank you. Thank you, Vice President Pence, Secretary of State Pompeo, Ladies and Gentlemen. What a wonderful welcome. Im deeply honored for this beautiful reception and all the kind words you offered us.

My wife, Mareva, and myself had, you know, 72 fantastic hours in the United States. We started with a beautiful trip to Florida, to Tarpon Springs, where we saw firsthand how strong the Greek American community is. (There you go.)

And we had two very productive days of meetings in Washington, at -- at the White House, on the Hill, with American think tanks, engaging with you, potential investors, the Greek American community.

Youre absolutely right, Mr. Vice President, Secretary: this relationship was never stronger. I am very proud to be leading Greece in these historic times for our bilateral relations, a relationship that can only go from strength to strength.

And we had a chance during these two days to talk about a whole lot of issues, starting from the geopolitical situation in our region, the challenges that we face. I was very glad to hear you reaffirming what should be a very obvious fact: that Greece was, is, and will remain the most reliable ally that the United States will have in this part of the world.

And were convinced -- we're convinced that the United States will stand by Greece when it fights for its rights, when it protects our own sovereign rights. But it will also stand by us as we look into the future, as we focus on economic growth, creating prosperity for all Greeks.

Mr. Vice President, youre right to point out that when you cut taxes, when you cut red tape, when you deregulate, when you let entrepreneurship flourish, very good things happen to an economy. Its the same -- it happened here. Its also happening in Greece. And the Greek economy will grow from strength to strength. And we invite American investors to take part in this new chapter for our country.

But this is also a story about shared values. Youre right to point out that the Founding Fathers were very much inspired by the values of classical Greece, of Athenian democracy. And as we enter 2020, one should remember that this is also an important date, as we are celebrating 2,500 years from the historic battles of Thermopylae and Salamis, the battles that essentially allowed free Greece to flourish and create the classical civilization which served as a basis of inspiration for the entire world.

But the Greek Founding Fathers of the Greek War of Independence -- the Greek Revolution -- were also inspired by the American Revolution, and took faith in what happened in the United States 40 years earlier.

And next year is also a monumental date for Greece, as we will be celebrating 200 years since the beginning of the Greek Revolution -- a story of courage, a story of freedom, a story of a small people who rose in one corner of the Ottoman Empire to establish the first free and independent state in this part of the world.

And during those 200 years, our country has gone through many adventures. Weve faced catastrophes and triumphs, but hopefully we are now ready to write a new chapter in our history. And as we enter the third decade of the 21st century, Im sure this is going to be a decade of prosperity and of great success for my country.

So I would like once more to thank you for your kind hospitality. I have to thank everyone whos attending this beautiful reception in this historic building. And let me add one more toast -- again, with ouzo -- to this most enduring and important strategic friendship between Greece and the United States.

Yiamas [inaudible].

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