The outgoing US Ambassador, Geoffrey Pyatt, spoke about the Greek-Turkish crisis of 2020 and revealed unknown aspects. According to him, Greece and Turkey reached the brink of conflict at that time and it was necessary, as he says, to "take action intensively to help to prevent things from getting out of control."
"What was happening was more dramatic than the image projected by the media," he said in an interview with Kathimerini.
According to Pyatt, "you heard US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo say we thought this was a very serious crisis and we worked hard to help keep things under control. Conditions are much better today, despite the continuing unacceptable activities, the overflights, the rhetorical exaggerations, the silly statements questioning the sovereignty of the islands, which from the American side is indisputable."
On Article 5
"The strategic landscape around the Aegean, the Black Sea, Asia Minor has changed dramatically since February 24, and I think the developments in Ukraine make it more important for the US to do what it can to ensure that Turkey will behave as a good NATO ally towards all its neighbors. "This is not the time for distractions, whether created by politics, rhetoric or military maneuvers."
Regarding security guarantees, the outgoing US Ambassador to Athens points out that "there is Article 5. You have heard from President Biden a very clear commitment to it and the willingness to provide American forces, equipment and funds to strengthen and to defend this guarantee ".
Asked if it could be implemented "even if the threat comes from within the Alliance", Mr Pyatt said: "Article 5 is the cornerstone of everything we do in terms of our security relationship with the Greece and NATO ".
Biden - Mitsotakis meeting
Ahead of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis's visit to Washington and meeting with Joe Biden, Mr Pyatt said he was aware of the importance for Greece of the invitation for the US President himself and to the US Government as a whole.
He added that they would discuss, among other things, the ongoing efforts with allies and partners to support the Ukrainian people and impose financial sanctions on Russia for its unprovoked invasion, energy security and cooperation with Greece on natural gas.