“I am very happy to welcome you at a time where I honestly feel that our bilateral relationship is probably at the best it has ever been,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in welcoming visiting US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Saturday in the port city of Chania, on Crete. in.gr reported.

According to in.gr, Blinken acknowledged the strong bilateral relations, noting that ties have never been stronger.

The Greek prime minister welcomed Blinken at his ancestral home in Souda Bay, where he cited what he called difficult and challenging times for the region. “It is very important for the two countries to stand side by side, not just to work to further strengthen the relationship, but also to act as allies and to ensure that peace and stability returns in the region.”

On his part, the top American diplomat noted that “…we are facing some of the most serious challenges that we have ever seen, but the fact that we are standing together, that we are working together, whether it is in defense of Ukraine, whether it is for peace and stability in the Mediterranean, and the Middle East and dealing with the situation in Gaza, that is a tremendous source of strength and reassurance for the United States.”

Blinken met earlier on Saturday with Turkish President Tayyip Recep Erdogan to kick-off a week-long series of visits to capitals in the wider region, ostensibly aimed at calming tensions across the Middle East.

Other top officials that participated in the meeting included Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Gerapetritis, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexandra Papadopoulou, US ambassador to Greece George Tsunis and US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Tom Sullivan.