Ambassador’s Pyatt’s comments to media at Air Power Conference after remarks

Ambassador: It’s a great honor to be back at the Air Power Conference. It’s very impressive to see how this venue has evolved. It’s also a perfectly timed opportunity to take stock of the U.S.-Greece defense cooperation relationship. I’m very grateful that we have here today General Harigian, the new commander of US Air Forces in Europe and Africa. Yesterday, we had the Deputy Commander of European Command, General Twitty, here meeting with General Christodoulou. I think you can see all of this as a reflection of the very high tempo of military engagement between the United States and Greece, our investment in the defense relationship here in the context of a strategy that views Greece as a pillar of regional stability, a strong NATO ally, and a very capable force for democracy and stability in the region.

[inaudible] About yesterday’s [sic] incident at your residence?

Ambassador:  So, it was this morning’s incident at the house. The first thing I’ll say is I’m very grateful for the expressions of sympathy, the quick statement from the Foreign Ministry, from Minister Apostolakis this morning. Second, we have lots of paint at the Embassy, and we’re very happy to repaint the wall. And third, this kind of hooliganism – and I don’t know what the translation of that word into Greek is – but this kind of hooliganism detracts from everything that is so attractive about Athens right now as a destination for tourism, for investment, and I am grateful for the indications that law enforcement intends quickly to follow up.

[inaudible] What about Cyprus/Turkish drilling in exclusive economic zone?

Ambassador: So, you heard my answer in the conference, in particular the clear statement of the U.S. State Department spokesperson over the weekend regarding the importance of avoiding escalatory, provocative activities but also our very strong support for what the Greek government is doing, what Minister Apostolakis, Secretary General Paraskevopoulos at the Foreign Ministry are doing to seek to revive a dialogue on confidence building between these two NATO allies.

[inaudible] What can you say about Turkish actions in Cyprus?

Ambassador: Our statement over the weekend was very clear on these issues.

 [inaudible] Have you discussed these military programs with leaders of the opposition?

Ambassador:  I think on defense issues, there’s been a clear message from the government as well as the leading opposition of support for the alliance with the United States, and the deepening of that alliance. I think it’s a very important signal and I have a strong dialogue on these issues with leaders like Shadow Minister Kikilias, Shadow Minister Koumoutsakos, and I hear nothing different from them from what I hear from the sitting government.

Thank you.