U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry applauded Greece’s efforts to seek and explore new energy projects and also pledged its support for the country’s efforts to emerge from two concurrent crises— the refugee crisis and its own economic crisis.
“The United States is enthusiastic about Greece’s growing role in European energy security, which is in the end a major strategic interest that we share,” he said at a news conference with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias.
Kerry’s message was a U.S. pull in a game of tug-of-war to bring the Greece closer to the Western alliance’s side after Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras touched European and American nerves earlier in the year when he discussed energy projects with Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Kerry also praised Tsipras’ efforts to revive the Greek economy.
“I appreciate the way in which you have been approaching the economic reform effort and the challenges of the debt. It’s not easy, and we want to try to be as helpful as we can to see Greece come out of this“ he told Tsipras.
Tsipras told Kerry he can count on Greece to emerge from the crises: “I want to show you that Greece remains a (field) of stability in the region,” the Greek prime minister said.
Kerry also announced that the United States is giving $24 million in new money to help refugees as the European winter approaches. The aid will go to the U.N. refugee agency for food, water and shelter. It will also help authorities screen and process refugees as they arrive in Europe.