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Main points of Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis’ speech in event organized by the Greek Consulate-General in Chicago and representatives of the Greek-American Community
It is a great pleasure for me to be here today on the occasion of the NATO Summit, which also coincides with the 60th anniversary of Greece’s membership to the Alliance, and to be given the opportunity to address such a prominent audience. I would like to thank those who made this event possible and, in particular, the Greek-American community in Chicago who co-sponsored it.
I am equally pleased to be in the United States, a close friend and ally, a country with which Greece shares long-standing bonds of genuine friendship mutual respect and common fundamental values.
Striving for peace, democracy, freedom and prosperity, Greece and the US have always stood side by side, in difficult as well as peaceful years and missions.
Today, our bilateral relations stand as firm as ever. I would like to take this opportunity to express, once again, our deep appreciation for the steady and strong support extended by the US Administration and President Obama personally to Greece from the very beginning of the current financial crisis.
Please allow me also to pay tribute to the achievements of the Greek American community and its leaders. We are proud of you. While working hard and excelling in the US, you kept Greece, the country of you ancestors, alive in your hearts. You combine the best of both countries. And you have become the best proof of the solid bonds and the values we share with the US. And this would not have been possible without the support of our church.
I would also like to welcome here many friends from the Jewish American Community, whose close ties and contacts with the Greek Diaspora are showing great dynamism and potential, something that we would like to foster and promote further.
Greece is going through a very difficult and challenging period at the moment. It is experiencing on of the harshest crises in its modern history. The Greek people are facing real hardship and have made enormous sacrifices to overcome this crisis.
But you also know that we are no strangers to crises. We have been through hard times before. And there is no doubt in my mind that we will pull through, as we have done in the past, and we shall all, together, come out stronger and continue our common efforts to build a better and brighter future for generations to come.
After all, the crisis has not changed the fundamental elements that make Greece a valuable ally and partner. It continues to be at the crossroads of continents, a gateway for commerce and energy transport, with a vital geopolitical position. It is a factor of stability, right next to a volatile neighborhood. It has excellent human capital.
Let me close with a couple of words on foreign policy. I represent a caretaker government, whose primary mission is to lead our country to fresh elections. However, let there be no doubt that we will face any challenge that may arise for our national interests, and we will do so decisively and effectively. We are confident that tomorrow, the leaders of NATO will once again send a positive yet unambiguous message to our northern neighbor, that NATO’s doors are open, as long as they fulfill the requirements set by the alliance. And once again let me stress that Greece will stand by the side of our Cypriot brothers as they continue to struggle for the reunification of their island.
Thank you for your attention. I expect to see all of you in Greece, this summer.