US Embassy's Twitter account in Greece transitions to incoming Ambassador Tsunis
Earlier in the day outgoing US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt tweeted one last time from the embassy's account, also posting a picture of a sailboat on blue waters: "Today marks the end of a 9-year experiment in ambassadorial Twitter diplomacy, as this Embassy account transitions to my successor George Tsunis. You can still find me on my new personal account @geoffpyatt. And thanks to all who engaged and educated me here through so much history."
US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, whose five-year diplomatic term in Greece comes to an end in May, said that a lot has changed in the country itself and in its relations with the United States during this time, speaking at a fireside chat during the 7th Delphi Economic Forum on Thursday.
What he said he observes as having changed most dramatically is confidence: "the confidence that the Greek people have in themselves, having escaped this terrible decade-long economic crisis. But also the confidence that Greece enjoys in the United States." Elaborating, Pyatt mentioned the two countries' expanded military relationship, as well as the confidence of investors. Five years ago, he noted, "we were discussing whether the Greek economy was going to collapse," but today "we’re talking about enormous new investments by Pfizer, Microsoft, AWS, Digital Realty."
Mapping common interests yet further, Pyatt said Greece now has thriving relationships with Egypt, with Israel, with the United Arab Emirates and with India, "so you have an arc of engagement where our interests coincide and where we are able to build confidence in each other."
In terms of Greece's role on the energy map, Pyatt said that the US "is extremely supportive of the work that Greece is doing with Egypt, Israel, Cyprus, with the [European] Commission on electricity interconnectors." He said there is "an obvious economic play that rests in taking the relatively low cost of electricity generation especially in Egypt and especially renewable electricity generation, and delivering that to the European grid through Greece."
Regarding the war in Ukraine, Pyatt underlined that when it is over "Greece’s role in the southeastern flank of NATO is going to be more important than it has ever been." He also warned that the United States "will be intolerant" of any country that tries to evade the sanctions, "whether that’s in financial terms or technology terms."
Pyatt added that "the sanctions that were applied because of Turkey’s acceptance of the S-400 [Russian missile systems] remain in place. Those were a decision of the US Congress, and they can’t be wished away."
Finally, the outgoing American diplomat said that "it has been an enormous privilege to be the American ambassador here at a time of such clear progress in the US-Greece relationship, at a time when we have seen Greece reemerge as the leading voice of European democracy that the United States wants it to be."
Moreover, The American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce honored outgoing US Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt at a farewell reception held in Athens on May 5.
AmCham President Nikolaos Bakatselos pointed out that Greece-US relations reached their highest level during Pyatt's six-year diplomatic term. The official uniform of Greece's national cycling team was also gifted to Pyatt during the event.
Pyatt was also presented with an recognition scroll: "The Board of Directors express heartfelt appreciation to Ambassador Pyatt for his deep friendship, dynamic collaboration, and unwavering commitment and support in creating new economic and business ties between the United States and Greece and furthering the relationship between the two countries, which today is the strongest it has ever been."
It was also noted that the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce forged inseparable ties with the American diplomat, and which will continue during Pyatt's upcoming new position as US Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources.