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The Role And Influence Of U.S. Foreign Policy In Modern Greece

2740 words - 11 pages

The Role and Influence of U.S. Foreign Policy in Modern Greece

United States and Greece are tied by a common heritage and shared democratic values (Greece Relations with U.S.). In fact, approximately 1.1 million Americans are of Greek heritage, and Greek-Americans comprise the seventh largest recipient of U.S. social security benefits. It is not surprising that this community has played an important role in strengthening Greek and U.S. foreign relations. The United States and Greece have participated as allies in World War II, the Korean conflict, and the Cold War. Most recently, Greece has given the United States use of its airspace and military assets in the counter-terrorism conflict in Iraq (Greece Relations with U.S.). Despite these positive relations, anti-American attitudes still prevail among most of the country's inhabitants. In this paper, I will discuss the influence and role of U.S. foreign policy in Greece with the hope that a clearer understanding of Greek attitudes is gained.

Over the years, Greece's most pressing foreign policy issues have included the dispute over the name of the Former Yugoslavia Republic of Macedonia; the Cyprus conflict involving Turkey; relations with Albania; and disputes with Turkey over the Aegean (Greece Foreign Relations). In the resolutions of these conflicts, the United States has assumed a direct or indirect role. Some of the most recent events that have involved the United States and Greece more directly include human trafficking issues; the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks; U.S. support of the military junta that ruled Greece from 1967 to 1974; the 1997 war in Kosovo under the Clinton administration; the trial of the 17 November terrorist group; and security at the 2004 Olympic games.

Former Yugoslavia Republic of Macedonia

The dispute over the name of the Former Yugoslavia Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) began in 1992. Greece objected to the use of the word "Macedonia" in "Republic of Macedonia" because of the word?s intrinsically Greek origin. Tensions escalated to the point where Greece placed a trade embargo against FYROM in 1994.? The United States along with the United Nations and the European Union finally helped Greece and FYROM reach a temporary agreement in September of 1995 (Foreign Relations of Greece ? United States?).? Since this time, relations between the two countries have improved as indicated by an article in the European Report on January 15, 2003.? The article discussed Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou?s visit to FYROM on January 13, 2003, and his presentation of Greece?s plans for improving relations in the Balkans during its rotating six-month UN presidency (?EU/Balkans: Greek Presidency Tour Kicks Off in FYROM and Albania?).

Cyprus

?Since 1974, the island of Cyprus has been divided between Greek and Turkish Cypriots.? An article by Kerin Hope of the Financial Times mentioned Greece?s support for a resolution to the Cyprus...

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