November 21, 2018
Καλησπέρα! Simos, George, it’s a great honor for me and Mary to enjoy Thanksgiving with you tonight. It’s one of our favorite holidays, and it represents some of the best American values.
There is a lot for us to be grateful for this year as American diplomats in Greece. And it’s a pleasure for us to share this holiday with you tonight as you have been such a key part of the U.S.-Greece relationship, and understanding the American and Greek contexts and what’s best in both.
Thanksgiving is, of course, about giving thanks – and tonight I’d like to express my gratitude to each of you for your support and assistance to the Embassy and the greater U.S.-Greece bilateral relationship.
I’m particularly grateful that together with our partners from the American Hellenic Chamber, we put together a Thessaloniki International Fair that will be remembered truly as a milestone in the U.S.-Greece relationship. And through our partnership in this endeavor, U.S.-Greece relationships have reached what I think is widely recognized as a high water mark; we are committed now to sustaining this momentum and moving forward together with all of you to take this relationship to new heights and I was especially glad that the TIF also included the launch of the new Thessaloniki chapter of Propeller.
Next month in Washington D.C, we will launch the U.S.-Greece Strategic Dialogue chaired by Secretary of State Pompeo and Minister Katrougalos. The U.S. side is going to be very focused on how we build on the momentum from TIF. We have made a strategic investment in our relationship with Greece, the diplomatic relationship, the people-to-people relationship and the business relationship that is so important to the future prosperity of this country.
The Strategic Dialogue is a whole of government exercise with strong support from the White House, the Pentagon, Department of Commerce, Department of Energy. We will have participation on the U.S. side not just from our Secretary of State, but from some of the senior officials who were present in Thessaloniki at TIF including under Secretary of Energy Mark Menezes, and Michael Kratsios the Head of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. It’s not a coincidence that this is the leveraging of the relationships that began at TIF and why I am so confident that the Thessaloniki Fair will be remembered as true high water mark of the U.S.-Greece alliance.
So we have a lot to look forward to in the months ahead. But for today, we are here to celebrate Thanksgiving.
And now I’d like to tell you just a little bit about why I’m so thankful to be here as U.S. Ambassador to Greece. First and foremost, I am thankful for the time we have all spent together, working towards common objectives, demonstrating the depth of the friendship between our two countries and building a stronger alliance. At the end of the day, it’s not so much about what we’ve accomplished, it’s about the relationships that we have formed along the way, and I am very thankful for the opportunity to continue those relationships with you over the next year. And as I look forward to 2019, I can promise you that I will be doing everything that I humanly can to cement the gains that we’ve made and to chart an ambitious course for the future.
And on a personal note, I am thankful for the many people that Mary and I have had the good fortune to meet here in Greece and the relationships we have forged. I am truly grateful to be able to count so many of you here in this room as friends- foremost Simos, George-, Mary and I count ourselves as almost honorary citizens of Volos and Horto at least for those peak months of the summer and so I look forward to continuing those relationships as well, in the year ahead.
So I’d like to wish everybody a very happy Thanksgiving, the best to all of you as we begin this holiday season.
And for the most delicious part of the holiday, our Thanksgiving meal! Καλή όρεξη