Remarks to the Press

Press Availability
Victoria Nuland
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Athens, Greece
February 3, 2014

Date: 02/03/2014 Description: Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland, center, speaks to the press after her meeting with Greek Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos in Athens, on Monday, Feb. 3, 2014.  © AP Image

Good afternoon everybody. I am delighted to be back in Greece, the cradle of democracy. We’ve had a very good day. I had the chance for a long discussion with the Prime Minister. I had a long discussion with the U.S. business community here in Greece. We had a terrific visit to the Microsoft Innovation Center, to see young people who are taking the Greek economy to the next level, in terms of being innovative and entrepreneurial.

I want to say that first and foremost on our bilateral relationship the United States is focused on supporting Greece through this reform effort and supporting the dual agenda of implementing reform and stimulating growth. The American companies who I met with here this morning were very encouraged and supportive of the reform efforts that the government has undertaken, and we’re all eager to see continued implementation of those measures, particularly in the area of stimulating investments, stimulating entrepreneurship, and we had a very good conversation with the Prime Minister about that and about how the United States can continue to support broadening and deepening bilateral trade and investment here following up on Secretary Pritzker’s visit.

One of the key engines for that kind of growth, and the jobs that we need on both sides of the Atlantic is the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership that we’re negotiating, the T-TIP between the United States and the EU. We are particularly delighted that Greece has the Presidency of the EU this semester because together we can really advance and stimulate this negotiation with regard to T-TIP. We’re very grateful for Greece’s support for it; it really is the engine of our economic future together. It’s not just about jobs and growth for the United States, Greece, and the other countries of the EU, it’s also about our leadership in the global economic community and ensuring of a free market way of life. As the Secretary said in Munich, the T-TIP is an opportunity to do for our economic relationship what NATO has done for our security relationship.

As we always do, we talked about the full range of regional and global foreign policy issues today. We talked about Syria, about Iran, about supporting the Cyprus talks, about Libya, of course we are all concerned about security and stability, and a huge number of European issues as well. Obviously, in our partnership we focused on counter-terrorism. We talked about that, and we also talked about energy, which is such an engine as well, for growth for both, for sovereignty for independence, here and around Europe. Thank you very, very much.