The United States dispatched its top diplomat in Greece, Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt and visiting Deputy Assistant Secretary Matt Palmer to northeastern Greece.
During a visit to the port of Alexandroupolis, where the United States is eying key investments in the energy sector, the two officials spoke to the press and gave strong statements of support to Greek efforts to secure its borders.
Palmer, who is also the United States’ special envoy in the Western Balkans, called the events at the border with Turkey “unacceptable” and underscored the United States’ commitment to Greek efforts.
Palmer said he visited the region “to demonstrate solidarity with Greece, with this city, with this region in a difficult period. I’d like to reaffirm and reinforce that, as we look at the events on the border, that what’s happening is unacceptable.”
He added in his statement, which was published on the U.S. Embassy’s website that:
“The United States also finds the current situation to be unsustainable, unacceptable. The uncontrolled movement of thousands of people who have been misled into believing that the road to Europe is open is fundamentally destabilizing, it’s unsustainable. It needs to change. So, we are here to underscore our firm commitment to this project, to this port, to support American investment and also here to demonstrate our solidarity with the people of Greece, with the people of this region at a difficult time.”
Palmer also announced an additional $108 million in aid to help alleviate the pressures along the border.
He also commented on the “professionalism of the Greek security services along the border.”
“We support – as the President has made absolutely clear – Greece’s right to defend its borders. I, personally, have been impressed with the professionalism of the Greek security services along the border, the way that they’ve handled themselves, the way that they’ve dealt with a very challenging set of circumstances, and Greece has our support in terms of what it is that it’s doing both here, in Evros, and in the Aegean to ensure border security.”
The full transcript from the press conference with Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt and Deputy Assistant Secretary Matt Palmer is here.
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