Kyriakos Messenger – Alexis Willing!

By | May 19, 2023

The memories and revelations of the American ambassadors about Greece are important not only for the historian of the future, but mainly for the political present. Even more so when one of them, Jeffrey Pyatt, is acting assistant secretary in the Biden administration.

Newspaper “Estia”

Especially if they see the light a few days before the elections, as is the case of the book by the diplomat Richard Jackson that includes the testimonies of the ambassadors Thomas Miller, Charles Rees and Geoffrey Pyatt on their time in Athens.

The book under the eloquent title “Far and loved” was published these days by the house “Estia”.

These testimonies highlight the American perception of Greece and the different assessments that exist on the other side of the Atlantic about the events that are happening here, but also the obsession of the Americans with their own points of view that, in general, they want to impose.

It also highlights the “other” side of people like Geoffrey Pyatt, who is not as nice to Greece as his interlocutors in Athens thought when he was ambassador. He now he speaks rather dismissively and as if he were referring to a colony.

Thus, Alexis Tsipras characterizes his position on the Prespa Agreement as “willing”, which Payat highlights, although he acknowledges that the Thessaloniki incidents with tear gas demonstrated “how much dissatisfaction the agreement had caused”.

It specifically mentions:

“I think, looking back, that the Prespa Agreement was a revolutionary act in Greek foreign policy and, as I insist on telling everyone, including my friends in New Democracy, a shining example of the vision I have been trying to promote. For two years, the vision of Greece as a pillar of stability This Greece can be a source of solutions, not just problems, as demonstrated by the Prespes and the Prime Minister’s willingness to assume the political cost of the agreement.

For me it was a proud moment of effective American diplomacy. I give a lot of credit to Zaev and Dimitrov, while on the Greek side it was actually Kotzias’ plan until the last act when Tsipras had to take responsibility.

And Tsipras, to his great credit, recognized that it was a matter of historical heritage and that he was putting Greece on the right track for the long term.

“The deal didn’t resonate with New Democracy, but I know that almost all of these people are pretty satisfied that someone else solved their problem for them.”

And he closes his reference to Alexis Tsipras with the dialogue he had with Barack Obama who, regarding the Cyprus issue, said: “I think that any conflict that started before I was born should really be resolved now.” Classic American approach that ignores the past.

On the other hand, Mr. Pyatt characterizes Kyriakos Mitsotakis as a “messenger” when talking about his communication with President Trump, a few days after his election. A phone call with Vice President Pence was previously reported, with the ambassador writing:

“I can only imagine what happened next: how the vice president walked out of his office, walked into the Oval Office and said to President Trump: I just spoke to Mitsotakis, he seems very nice, you should talk to him too. My advice was, don’t worry, President Trump is going to say what he wants anyway and they don’t have a better messenger than Kyriakos Mitsotakis, so give him the phone and the rest will take care of itself.”

From the Trump-Mitsotakis meeting in January 2020 at the White House
Jeffrey Pyatt spoke at length about what he considers the achievements of his tenure as having to do with strengthening the US presence and its military forces in Greece. He affirms:

“We have come to stop apologizing for Souda like we used to, but to strengthen our military cooperation. I am very proud of both how we work with various Greek governments on this and how we update the expanded Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement to include expanded exercises, ongoing deployments in Stefanovikio and operations that we are conducting in Larissa.

“I had crucial conversations with General Stefanis, then commander of the 3rd Army Corps, and with district governor Tzizikostas. Where are the Americans? How did you disappear from northern Greece? they asked.”

And the ambassador continues:

“I am very proud that, in my four years, we have reached the historic first visit by an American foreign minister to Thessaloniki. Now we are expanding the State Department presence in Thessaloniki. We are adding more Americans,” Evan was told. Kalpadakis in Prime Minister’s Office: I want the US to be invited as a country of honor in 2018. I went to the Hellenic-American Chamber and said what nonsense is this, is it possible that China and Russia are taking it out on United States in northern Greece? I want our best companies to come to the 2018 Expo.”

The Annan Plan was the subject referred to by Ambassador Charles Rees, who considers that its rejection is a blow to Greece’s strategy to align itself with UN resolutions. He affirms:

“The failure of the Annan Plan in Cyprus in 2004 was a severe blow to this strategy. In practice, however, the Greeks did not take advantage of the channels opened by earthquake diplomacy to resolve airspace and continental shelf issues in the Aegean. They believed that the Cyprus question should be resolved first. And so they missed the opportunity.”

Typical example of the superficiality with which the State Department treats the facts. Probably this comment convinces you that Greece at that time pursued an effective national policy. It was then the Government of Costas Karamanlis, which continued with its national position and later in Bucharest.

Thomas Miller, the longest-serving diplomat in Greece and Cyprus, focuses on Imia and the 2004 Olympics. He states that he is pleased with Simitis’s tactics:

“Simitis did the right thing. He thanked us and was severely criticized in Greece for this. He had just taken over and just said ‘thank you for your help’. And of course my friend Richard Holbrooke kept saying something like ‘Another example that while Europe slept, the US did aggressive diplomacy and solved the problem. The Europeans were freaking out, but Holbrooke had been saying that for years.”

Regarding the 2004 “account”, he writes:

“We unknowingly suspected the double books (that Greece had and) that were later revealed. The total bill for the Olympic Games was around $10 billion. And we knew that not everything was balanced, there were many state companies. I repeat, Greece was essentially a socialist state. And the main thing was saving jobs, not making a profit.”

After reading these testimonies, we easily conclude in which direction the State Department wants to steer the situation. Towards a broad coalition government that accepts painful compromises. And for whose creation the simple analogue of Mr. Tsipras, which Mr. Mitsotakis also left for the end of the four-year term, paves the way…

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