WASHINGTON, DC —The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) welcomed Greece’s Defense Minister Panos Kammenos to AHI’s Hellenic House, where he met with AHI representatives, October 10, 2018.
“We are at a very important moment in the friendship of the U.S.-Greece relationship, and I have to thank [AHI],” Defense Minister Kammenos told the group. “Without you it would be impossible.”
“We appreciated the opportunity to host Defense Minister Kammenos at Hellenic House,” AHI President Nick Larigakis said. “The defense minister briefed us about his visit to Washington, which included a meeting with Secretary of Defense James Mattis. Secretary Mattis’ recognition of Greece’s vital role to maintain security in the region is further testament to the ever-strengthening defense relationship between the United States and Greece.”
Larigakis added, “We also thank Defense Minister Kammenos for his support for the work of the American Hellenic Institute, especially our efforts to make the U.S.-Greece defense relationship a key aspect of the policy agenda in Washington.”
According to a Department of Defense readout, Secretary Mattis reaffirmed the longstanding defense relationship between the two countries, and he thanked Greece for its continued support of United States basing at NSA Souda Bay. Secretary Mattis also “praised” Greece for its commitment to NATO’s defense spending minimum standard and for Greece’s signing of a $1.5 billion upgrade to its F-16 fighter jets.
Defense Minister Kammenos’ visit to Washington also included meetings at the U.S. Department of State.
Several dignitaries accompanied Defense Minister Kammenos to Hellenic House, including: Ambassador Eleftherios Karayannis, director of Diplomatic Office of the Defense Minister; Lt. Gen. Theologos Symeonidis, (retired, Hellenic Air Force), director of the Defense Minister’s Office; Captain Timothy Ketter, United States Navy, U.S. Defense attaché in Athens; Col. Vasileios Lampropoulos, Defense & Military attaché of Greece to the U.S.; and Mr. Ilias Kammenos.
In addition to President Larigakis, AHI Board of Directors Nicholas G. Karambelas, Esq., Leon Andris, Dr. Athina Balta, Esq., and James L. Marketos, Esq. attended the meeting.