Trump to host Greek PM at the White House, energy likely to top the agenda

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will visit the White House today for discussions with President Donald Trump on economic cooperation,

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Photo: AP/Turkish Defence Ministry

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will visit the White House today for discussions with President Donald Trump on economic cooperation, amid an ongoing territorial dispute with fellow NATO member Turkey.

The dispute stems from a December 25 deal between Turkey and Libya on gas exploration in the Mediterranean, which established a maritime border between Libya and Turkey. Greece and other allies argue that the border ignores the legally defined territorial waters of the Greek islands.

Mitsotakis hopes to persuade Trump to bolster the EastMed Act—which has facilitated energy cooperation between the US, Greece, Israel and Cyprus—to counter Turkey’s expansion into the Mediterranean.

The two could discuss the establishment of exclusive economic zones to incentivise Turkey to abandon its deal with Libya for a more multilateral maritime economic deal. Alternatively, though less likely, Trump could push for Greece and Turkey to settle the maritime border dispute in The Hague.

On a final note, expect Prime Minister Mitsotakis to capitalise on Trump’s concern over Turkey’s purchase of the Russian S-400 air defence system. This, in turn, will likely encourage the US to favour assistance to Greece, which offers a security alternative in the Mediterranean.

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