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14 July, 2020
 
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Greek Premier asks Trump for support

Mitsotakis tells Washington event Turkey-Libya maritime border deal is 'geographically ridiculous'

Kathimerini Greece Newsroom

US President Donald Trump hailed his country's "extraordinary" relations with Greece as he welcomed Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at the White House on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office, Trump said the two countries are "doing a lot" together and will continue to do so. "We're going to be meeting, talking, and negotiating a lot of deals," he told reporters at the start of the meeting.

'We're very much looking to your support...because it is a very important issue for my country'

"We have many things to discuss, the relationship is really extraordinary, as good as it can get. We're doing a lot of things together, militarily, we're also doing a lot of trade. Greece has done a tremendous comeback, we've worked with them very closely,” he said.

Mitsotakis said Greece is "very much interested" in participating in the F-35 program and reiterated that the country is a reliable US partner in the region.

As reporters asked about Libya, he said the agreement signed between the country and Turkey on maritime borders "infringes upon Greece's sovereign rights."

Earlier in the day, Mitsotakis spoke at an event held at the Atlantic Council, a powerful think tank in Washington, where he described the agreement that purportedly delimitated the maritime borders between Turkey and Libya as “geographically ridiculous,” saying it completely disregarded the Greek island of Crete.

The agreement, signed last month in Libya, seeks to create an exclusive economic zone from Turkey’s southern Mediterranean shore to Libya’s northeast coast.

“The deal is clearly null and void but it is also geographically ridiculous. You just need to look at the map to understand that there is no connection between Turkey and Libya. Of course the agreement assumes that our islands, including Crete, does not have an exclusive economic zone,” he said.

In the Oval Office, Mitsotakis told Trump “we're very much looking to your support...because it is a very important issue for my country.”

Asked if he would talk to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about the issue, the US president said “we are talking to him and we're discussing with many other countries...about that subject specifically. We'll be talking to Russia – many countries are involved. It's now a mess...and they know where we stand."

The Greek premier, accompanied by his spouse Mareva Grabowski-Mitsotaki, arrived at the White House shortly after 9 pm (Greek time) and was welcomed by Trump and First Lady Melania Trump.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  Greece  |  US  |  Mitsotakis  |  Trump  |  Atlantic Council  |  EastMed  |  Turkey  |  Libya

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