State Department Official Visits Greece, Meets New Government Counterparts

February 27, 2015 – U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Amanda Sloat visited Greece this week to meet with officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defense, and other government agencies.  She also met with representatives from the private sector, civil society, and non-governmental organizations.  In addition to visiting Athens, she toured and met with officials at Naval Suport Activity Souda Bay.

In her capacity as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Sloat is responsible for issues related to Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus.  She has visited Greece regularly since assuming her duties in September 2013.

During her meetings with government counterparts, Deputy Assistant Secretary Sloat said  the United States hoped to continue our strong bilateral cooperation on foreign policy issues.  She discussed regional developments, including Ukraine, Cyprus, and international efforts to counter the threat posed by ISIL.

She congratulated Greece on reaching an initial agreement on a four-month extension with its Eurozone partners, while also requesting more information on Greece’s intended reform program, how the country plans to cover its 2015 funding gap, and what the government’s intentions are vis-à-vis privatizations.

Deputy Assistant Secretary Sloat reaffirmed that the United States remains committed to helping Greece emerge from its economic crisis, and wants to see Greece continue to play a stabilizing role in the region.  She stressed that attracting foreign direct investment and expanding bilateral trade will be critical to Greece’s recovery, which depends on a healthy investment climate.

During her February 25 meeting with Alternate Foreign Minister Euclid Tsakalotos, Deputy Assistant Secretary Sloat emphasized that it is important for Greece to provide specifics on its reform proposals as a basis for requesting greater flexibility from the lending institutions.