Trump congratulates new Greek PM, pledges cooperation

Greece’s Prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis leaves the presidential palace in Athens on July 9, 2019 after a swearing-in ceremony of the new cabinet. – Greece’s new prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, formally takes up the reins on July 8, a day after an election victory that puts him in charge of the EU’s most indebted member with promises to end a decade of economic crisis. (Photo by Louisa GOULIAMAKI / AFP)

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — US President Donald Trump on Tuesday congratulated Greece’s new conservative prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, pledging in a telephone call to keep pursuing the countries’ warming relations, the White House said.

“The two leaders expressed their mutual interest in working together and continuing strong cooperation between the United States and Greece,” the White House said.

A State Department spokeswoman separately called Greece “one of our closest allies.”

The United States hopes to work with Mitsotakis to “increase regional stability, boost bilateral trade and diversify regional energy options,” she said.

Mitsotakis, a Harvard-educated scion of a political dynasty, on Sunday led his free-market New Democracy party to victory in the country that has started to emerge from economic crisis, ending the four-year rule of leftist leader Alexis Tsipras.

Despite his far-left roots, Tsipras built a close relationship with the United States under both Trump and former president Barack Obama, notably by pursuing warm relations with Israel.

Tsipras also resolved a nearly three-decade row over the name of neighboring North Macedonia, removing a pestering headache for NATO and Europe but igniting a backlash among Greek nationalists that some analysts say contributed to his defeat.


© Agence France-Presse