Trump hails 'extraordinary' relations with Greece; Mitsotakis cites F-35 prospects, Turkey-Libya maritime 'map drawing'

Tuesday, 07 January 2020 23:45
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Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was welcomed to the White House's Oval Office on Tuesday by US President Donald Trump amid a now even more explosive situation in the Middle East, with the latter praising bilateral relations as "extraordinary".

"We're going to be meeting, talking, and negotiating a lot of deals ...We have many things to discuss, the relationship is really extraordinary, as good as it can gets. We're doing a lot of things together, militarily, we're also doing a lot of trade. Greece has done a tremendous comeback, we've worked with them very closely,” Trump told a scrum of assembled reporters, with Mitsotakis by his side.  

In response, the Greek prime minister, who's been in office since early July 2019 after easily defeating the leftist incumbent's SYRIZA party, said Athens is interested in participating in the F-35 fighter plane program, the most official statement so far expressing Greek interest in the fifth-generation multi-role warplane.

Additionally, and as widely expected, Mitsotakis publicly brought up Athens' intense disapproval of a Turkey-Libya agreement late last year that draws maritime borders between the two non-abutting countries by erasing every island in the eastern Mediterranean - a deal Greece and others considers as ridiculous and baseless.

When asked, Mitsotakis said the agreement, a memorandum of understanding "infringes upon Greece's sovereign rights."

"We're very much looking to your support... because it's a very important issue for my country," Mitsotakis publicly said to Trump.

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