“A critical link for European energy security and economic growth, ” is how US Ambassador to Greece Jeffrey Pyatt, characterized the northern Greek port city of Alexandroupolis, on Friday morning, where he was at to see for himself the salvage operation for the dredger “Olga” was progressing.
From Alexandroupolis port, which he visited jointly with Greek Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos and Secretary of the Ports of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Evangelos Kyriazopoulos, Mr Pyatt also highlighted the opportunities created by the future privatization of the port.
The text of the US Ambassador’s speech:
Καλημέρα! Let me start by thanking our friend Defense Minister Panagiotopoulos for going to the trouble of coming up here to Alexandroupoli to be with us here for today’s event. I also want to acknowledge all of our partners from the Hellenic Army Forces, in particular General Kambas, General Floros, as well as Deputy Regional Governor Petrovic, and Mayor Zampoukis, who I had the pleasure of meeting with earlier this morning.
I also want to say a special thank you to General Harvey and Lieutenant Commander Ferris, who is here from Navy Europe. The Embassy’s partnership with European Command, with Army Europe, with NAVEUR has been essential to our success in deepening and strengthening the alliance between the United States and Greece.
I’m very happy to be back in Alexandroupoli to highlight our work here together with our Greek allies, as well as the opportunities that we see for the future privatization of this important maritime asset. I’m pretty sure I’ve visited Alexandroupoli more than any other U.S. Ambassador to Greece, and that reflects this city’s critical geopolitical importance as a gateway to the Black Sea and Balkan regions.
Alexandroupoli is a crucial link to European energy security, regional stability, and economic growth, so it makes sense that the United States and Greece have chosen here to work together to advance our shared security and economic interests.
This project to remove the sunken dredger “Olga” is proof of our commitment to the US-Greece alliance. The $2.3 million U.S. investment here will enhance the port’s capacity for military movements but also contribute to its commercial value.
I also want to underline something that was reinforced by my conversation here today, which is the quality of the partnership between our American and Greek representatives, whether it is our military relationship or our commercial contractors working together. We collaborate as partners and allies, and our relationship today is at an all-time high.
We look forward to the next rotation of a Combat Aviation Brigade through Stefanovikio later this year. We also look forward to the upcoming privatization of this facility, and hope very much that there will be conditions for American investors to participate.
And finally, I would emphasize, as I have done often before, the critical importance of Alexandroupoli as an energy hub for the FSRU, the gas trade, GE power plant, and a variety of other projects.
Our work together benefits Greece, strengthens our alliance, and makes for a safer region. Ευχαριστώ πολύ.