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Joint statements of Alt. Minister of Foreign Affairs G. Katrougalos and of US Secretary of State M. Pompeo following their meeting in the framework of the US-Greece Strategic Dialogue (Washington, 13 December 2018)
G. KATROUGALOS: Thank you very much. This is a real milestone in our longstanding relationship. Strategic dialogue does not mark just an effort to keep the momentum of the big success of Thessaloniki Fair, where the United States were the honored country, but also to promote the strategic interests of both our countries. Our relations are maybe at their apex, the best point ever and that reflects a lot of factors.
First of all, alignment of interests in the area, second, commonality of values, third, recognition of the stabilization efforts of Greece in the whole area of the Balkans and also the Mediterranean and the Middle East. We are not just trying to protect our national interest stricto sensu but to be a factor of stability and peace in the Balkans and in the Middle East. Therefore we have proceeded with the Prespa Agreement which is a mutually beneficial Agreement between both us and our northern neighbors. For the same reason we have proceeded with a number of regional multilateral and trilateral initiatives in the Mediterranean.
I will only mention the Rhodes Conference, which aspires to be a regional system of security and cooperation, which already comprises more than twenty four Arab and South European countries, our initiative for interreligious dialogue and protection of religious minorities in the Middle East and of course a very big number of trilateral cooperation schemes that include Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Jordan and other countries in the area. In that way, we very much welcome the future presence of the United States in these trilateral schemes, especially with regard to Israel and Cyprus.
Finally, this was also, at the level of the economy, an important meeting for us. As Secretary Pompeo said, we have finally left behind us the most severe crisis a western nation had to face. We changed our economic model, so as to use our comparative advantages. Two of them are the geopolitical position of our country, a real bridge between Europe, Asia and Africa. We want to become a hub of energy and transports, and we have discussed all these issues. And the second comparative advantage is that we now have the most educated generation of young Greeks ever. Therefore, we wanted to develop a cooperation with the United States that regards cutting-edge technologies, especially in the areas of IT and new technologies.
So, I must thank again Secretary Pompeo and his team for this important, historic I would say, initiative, the Strategic Dialogue, which both sides have agreed to continue in a structured way in the future.