Greece’s Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos and U.S. Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt on Friday paid a visit to the port of Alexandroupolis to observe the work underway for raising the sunken dredger “Olga”, which is taking place with funding from the U.S. Army. They were accompanied by the shipping ministry’s secretary-general for ports, Evangelos Kyriakopoulos, and the U.S. Consul in Thessaloniki Gregory Pfleger.
In statements during the visit, Panagiotopoulos commented on the Greek-U.S. relations and noted that the raising of the sunken ship will allow bigger ships to dock at the port of Alexandroupolis, boosting the prospects of the port, the city of Alexandroupolis and the surrounding region of Thrace.
He also highlighted the importance of the city’s geo-strategic position, the port’s developmental and economic prospects and the energy prospects of the region, in addition to the strategic relations of partnership and trust with the United States.
Pyatt said the port was a “crucial link for European energy security and economic growth” and emphasised the prospects created by its future privatisation, as well as America’s relationship with the city. He expressed hope that the privatisation will be done “in a way that makes it attractive for U.S. companies to participate in the tender.”
The ambassador pointed out that Greece and the U.S. had chosen to cooperate closely in this part of Greece “to promote our common interests and promote security”, referring to the military cooperation between the two sides.
“The embassy’s cooperation with the U.S. Army Europe and the Hellenic Army helps deepen our relations with Greece,” Pyatt said, adding that he looks forward to the next transfer of military equipment and personnel to Stefanovikio.
“We are cooperating as partners but also as allies and our relations are at their best point,” he said.