September 8, 2018
Minister Kammenos, Minister Vitsas I saw out there somewhere, friends, Senator Johnson. Let me start by saying what an enormous honor it is for me to speak after Admiral
Apostolakis. A great soldier, a great ally, and a great friend.
I come here today with a sense of enormous respect for the quality of our alliance and our military and security relationship with Greece. At a moment when Greece’s neighborhood is more troubled and more challenging than it has been in many years, we look to Greece both as a key NATO ally, but also a pillar of regional stability. A partner and a friend with deep ties to the United States.
Our investment in this relationship covers the full spectrum of our engagement — defense, economy, people to people ties. But I recognize that this has been a period of particular dynamism in our defense and security relationship, reflected by the visit just a few days ago of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Dunford; reflected in the arrival here in just a few hours of the flagship of the U.S. 6th Fleet, the USS Mt. Whitney; and reflected in the very strong presence of American defense technology companies that we see as part of the U.S. Pavilion.
So I want to, first of all, wish the very best to Minister Kammenos, the new Deputy Minister, the alternate minister, as we inaugurate this pavilion. But also to underline the unwavering commitment of the United States of America to our alliance with Greece, to the partnership that our professional military enjoys, and to our understanding of the special contributions that Greece continues to make as one of our strongest partners in sustaining a NATO alliance that keeps us all safe and secure.
Thank you very much.