05 October, 2005
Allow me at the outset to convey to you the best wishes of the President and of the Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic for your personal happiness and that of your family, for the success of your high mission as well as for the prosperity and well being of the American people.
It is indeed a great honor and a privilege for me to present to you the Letter accrediting me as Ambassador of the Hellenic Republic to the United States of America, together with the Letter of Recall of my predecessor. I come as a friend, representing a friendly country.
Allow me to take this opportunity to reiterate the sincere sympathy of the Greek people, as well as my own, to the victims of the catastrophic hurricane "Katrina," and the Greek Government's offer to the Rescue and Aid Program for the victims.
Greece and the United States of America are closely linked, by historical and long-standing bonds of Friendship, Alliance, Cooperation and Solidarity. This dynamic relationship is based on solid foundations cemented on the shared values of Democracy (Democratia) and Freedom (Eleftheria) - cornerstones of the Greek civilization.
America's struggle for independence was largely inspired by the principles and the values of classical Greek philosophers. Greece's war for independence was also influenced by the principles of the American Revolution. The quest for freedom constitutes a diachronic common ground for the United States and for Greece.
These bonds and affinities are enriched and strengthened by the presence here of a successful and dynamic Greek - American Community. Americans of Greek descent are proud to be good American patriots and equally proud for their Hellenic roots. They represent a good paradigm of a harmonious integration.
Today, the excellent state of relations between the United States and Greece is also reflected and confirmed by the unprecedented pace of bilateral, high-level meetings. The outstanding bilateral relationship opens new perspectives as to our common desire and commitment for spreading democracy and freedom in many parts of the world.
Allow me to say that, at this stage, common efforts are needed to render this strategic partnership more effective and more focused.
Furthemore, in the aftermath of the successful 2004 Athens Olympics, there are plenty of new opportunities, for both countries, to cooperate efficiently on security-related issues.
Abraham Lincoln said "the dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present." Coping with new challenges of our epoch such as asymmetric threats, global terrorism, and threats against peace, freedom, and democracy, Greece and the United States, as good NATO Allies, stand side by side.
Greece is willing to contribute to the ongoing efforts for the transformation of the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean into an area of peace, social justice, freedom and cooperation. Also, in supporting efforts for a just, functional and viable solution to the Cyprus issue in conformity with the UN Security Council Resolutions as well as the European acquis.
Last but not least, Greece remains the key stabilizing factor in the sensitive region of the Balkans. In that respect, Greece would welcome the proactive U.S. support of the United Nations proposals and efforts to reach a mutually acceptable solution on the name of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
Taking up my office, I wish to assure you, Mr. President, that Greece, and the Hellenes at large, greatly value the privileged relationship and strategic partnership with the United States of America.
I will devote all my efforts to promote, enlarge, and deepen the unique ties that link our countries and our peoples. In acting so, let me express the hope that I will benefit from your personal support as well as from that of your Administration.
I am pleased to accept your Letter of Credence, which establishes you as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Hellenic Republic to the United States, and I acknowledge receipt of the Letter of Recall of your predecessor, Ambassador George Savvaides. I would like to extend to you and your family a warm welcome to Washington nearly twelve years since you last served in the United States in New York.
On behalf of the United States, I would like to thank the Greek government as well as the noble and generous Greek people for their prompt and warmhearted assistance to the people of the United States following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. As the old saying goes, "A friend in need is a friend indeed." Greeks have proven recently once again that they are friends indeed.
In your eloquent statement, you accentuate the mutual values and principles our respective societies cherish -freedom and democracy. It is these values that have made Greece and the United States strategic partners working to promote democracy, reform, and stability in the region and beyond. Our friendship withstands the test of time and the global pressures of the day because these principles remain the core of our national existence and the core of our partnership.
Furthermore, our shared experience as democracies leads us to a shared desire to help other peoples yearning to achieve those same freedoms. We appreciate the Greek offer to hold a ministerial meeting next year to promote democracy, social justice and reform for the broader Middle East region. As the cradle of democracy, Athens could not be a more fitting venue.
We share the common goal of promoting peace and stability in the Balkans, the Eastern Mediterranean, Afghanistan, and Iraq. As a valued ally in NATO, Greece can play an ever increasing role in these important projects. We share a common desire to find a lasting solution for the troubled province of Kosovo.
We will continue to work to heal the tragic division of Cyprus and urge both parties to work within the UN process to find a mutually agreeable solution to the Macedonia name issue.
Mr. Ambassador, I wish you every success in Washington, as we strive to deepen our nations' long friendship and achieve our shared goals.
Source: Press Office of the Embassy of Greece