WASHINGTON, DC — American Hellenic Institute (AHI) President Nick Larigakis attended the 83rd Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) where the United States was this year’s “honored country.”
Larigakis attended the Gala Reception for the United States at the invitation of American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce, hosted at Hyatt Regency, September 7, 2018. He also attended the Official Inauguration of the United States Pavilion at the invitation of the U.S. Embassy, September 8, 2018.
Following the inauguration, Larigakis interfaced with government officials from the United States and Greece, including Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, as they toured the United States Pavilion.
President Larigakis spoke with Secretary Ross, who was in the company of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. Larigakis congratulated Secretary Ross for his participation at the Fair and noted that the secretary’s presence underscored how important the current state of U.S.-Greece relations is viewed.
“My message to Secretary Ross included the critical role Greece plays in projecting the geostrategic interests of the United States in the region and that a stronger Greek economy, backed by U.S. investment, can further enhance Greece’s geostrategic role to the ultimate benefit of U.S. interests in the region,” Larigakis said. “Also, in a more detailed discussion, I communicated a similar message to Senator Johnson and thanked him for his attendance.”
In addition, Greece’s Defense Minister Panos Kammenos invited President Larigakis to the Inauguration of the Hellenic Armed Forces pavilion, September 8. Later that evening, Larigakis attended Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s speech to commence the Fair at the invitation of the Board of Directors of Helexpo, S.A. (The speech is essentially the equivalent of a State of the Union Address in the United States.)
Finally, President Larigakis attended a reception on the occasion of the Inaugural Presentation of the Hellenic Chapter of the Association of the United States Army, September 9, at the invitation of chapter’s president, Athanasios Kouimtzis. The reception was held at the Thessaloniki Officers Club.
In the lead-up to the 2018 Thessaloniki International Fair, AHI hosted a presentation to promote the Fair in Washington, D.C., that featured Greece’s Minister of Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Information Nikos Pappas and then-Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of European & Eurasian Affairs Jonathan Cohen.