The United States views Greece as an indispensable partner and key North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Ally supporting NATO’s southeastern flank. Together, we are advancing our shared goals, united by democratic values, for peace and prosperity in the Eastern Mediterranean, Western Balkans, Black Sea region, and beyond.
The United States and Greece launched the first United States – Greece Strategic Dialogue in December 2018. The dialogue continues to be an important feature of our bilateral relationship and focuses on advancing shared priorities in the areas of regional cooperation, defense and security, trade and investment, energy and environment, law enforcement and counterterrorism, humanitarian challenges and disaster preparedness, and people-to-people ties. The fourth round of the Strategic Dialogue was held in February 2023, a testament to the deepening relationship of our countries and areas of strategic policy convergence.
As a leader in the region, longstanding NATO Ally, and EU partner, Greece has worked with the United States to promote stability, economic development, and regional integration, including efforts towards promoting the EU ambitions of Western Balkan partners. The United States strongly supports Greece’s role as a leader in diversifying Europe’s energy supplies and ensuring regional energy resource sharing. Greece’s geostrategic position and its participation in multilateral diplomatic initiatives, such as the “3+1” with the Republic of Cyprus and Israel plus the United States, also make it an important partner in encouraging dialogue and economic opportunities in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Greece occupies a strategic location in the Eastern Mediterranean on NATO’s southern flank. The U.S.-Greece Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement, updated in October 2021, is the backbone of the robust U.S.-Greece defense relationship, supporting U.S. training and operations in Souda Bay, Crete and other activities that promote regional stability goals from locations such as Greece’s Larissa Air Base.
Our robust people-to-people ties and shared democratic values form the bedrock of our bilateral alliance. In 2022, the United States proudly partnered with Greece on the historic Pharos Summit to promote international student mobility and U.S.-Greece international education collaboration. Our cultural and educational exchanges ensure that the people of our countries understand one another, and we continually work to extend those opportunities to individuals who have traditionally lacked access. The cultural relationship between the United States and Greece is rich and expanding, and the United States wholeheartedly supports Greece’s global leadership role in protecting cultural heritage from the negative impacts of climate change and from looting and trafficking. Our people-to-people ties and shared values will continue to guide our shared path forward at a time when the international rules-based order is being challenged like never before.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Greece is a member of the European Union and the Eurozone. Greece’s tech sector has experienced significant growth in recent years with major cloud infrastructure investments from Microsoft, Digital Realty, and Amazon Web Services. Greece’s focus on energy transition and security and the country’s central location as a transportation hub for Europe offer additional opportunities in renewables, gas, refinery, logistics, and related sectors.
In recent years, Greece has attracted investment by large U.S. multinational firms like Pfizer, Cisco, Deloitte, and Chubb, especially in Thessaloniki, in northern Greece, which is becoming a tech hub for the Balkans. U.S. companies are interested and involved in Greece’s privatization, government services digitalization, and energy transition efforts. The top U.S. exports to Greece are defense articles, although U.S. business activity is expected to continue growing in the high-tech, biomedical, tourism development, medical, construction, food processing, specialty agriculture and packaging, and franchising sectors. There are no significant non-tariff barriers to U.S. exports.
History of the United States’ Diplomatic Mission to Greece
The United States appointed its first Consul to Greece in 1837, following Greece’s independence from the Ottoman Empire, and established diplomatic relations with Greece in 1868. After World War II, the United States contributed hundreds of millions of dollars as part of the Marshall Plan to rebuild Greece’s buildings, agriculture, and industry. Today, an estimated three million American residents of the United States claim Greek descent. This large, well-organized community cultivates close political and cultural ties with Greece. The U.S. Embassy in Athens and the Consulate General in Thessaloniki host numerous U.S. agencies in support of a robust bilateral agenda.
U.S. Assistance to Greece
U.S. assistance fosters strong bilateral military-to-military relations and contributes toward the interoperability of Greek forces within NATO.
Greece’s Membership in International Organizations
Greece and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization. Greece is also a permanent observer to the Organization of American States.