Welcome Remarks by Ambassador David D. Pearce
September 23, 2014
Ambassador Schoof, esteemed colleagues and guests,
It’s a great honor to be with you today to open this conference on border protection. The issues you will discuss over the next few days – illicit migration, trafficking in persons, and terrorist networks – are some of the most pressing topics in the Mediterranean region today. These are cross-border problems that can only be solved when neighboring countries work together.
Each of your countries has the goal of secure borders. When one of those borders is the Mediterranean Sea as it is for many of you, the security challenge can be that much greater. To meet that challenge takes coordination; that’s why you’re here, that’s why conferences with practitioners are so important.
I want to thank the Hellenic Coast Guard and the Hellenic National Police for hosting this event. Thank you to the George C. Marshall European Center for organizing. Thanks to the European Command for paying for this conference, and for all you do to empower partner nations. We hope to continue this series of regional engagements on issues of counterterrorism. Stability, I think we all agree, is in everyone’s interest.
For my part as American Ambassador, we greatly value our relationships and cooperation with each of you and your nations. And I know over the next few days you will build strong networks with all of your counterparts here. And so with that I want to thank everyone in attendance for the work you do in making each of your countries, and the world we live in, a safer place.