More information about Greece is available on the Greece Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
The United States appointed its first Consul to Greece in 1837, following Greece’s independence from the Ottoman Empire, and established diplomatic relations with Greece in 1868. After World War II, the United States contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to rebuild Greece’s buildings, agriculture, and industry as part of the Marshall Plan. Today, an estimated three million Americans resident in the United States claim Greek descent. This large, well-organized community cultivates close political and cultural ties with Greece. The U.S. Embassy in Athens and the Consulate General in Thessaloniki host numerous U.S. agencies in support of a robust bilateral agenda.
The United States and Greece launched a Strategic Dialogue in December 2018 that focuses on the areas of regional cooperation, defense and security, trade and investment, energy, law enforcement and counterterrorism, and people-to-people ties. As a leader in the region and longstanding North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Ally, Greece has been an important partner to the United States in promoting regional security, stability, and economic development, creating a pathway for EU enlargement for the western Balkans, and supporting the diversification of Europe’s energy supplies. Greece’s geostrategic position and its participation in multilateral diplomatic initiatives, such as the “3+1” with Cyprus, Israel, and the United States, also makes it an important partner in encouraging development and dialogue throughout the Eastern Mediterranean
Greece occupies a strategic location in the Eastern Mediterranean on the southern flank of the NATO. The enhanced U.S.-Greece Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement, which was updated in January 2020, provides for the operation by the United States of a naval support facility at the deep-water port and airfield at Souda Bay in Crete, as well as support for U.S. forces present at several other locations in Greece. Greece contributes to NATO operations in Afghanistan and Kosovo, as well as to counterterrorism and law enforcement efforts.
U.S. Assistance to Greece
U.S. assistance fosters strong bilateral military-to-military relations and contributes toward the interoperability of Greek forces within NATO.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Greece is a member of the European Union and the Eurozone. The United States has expressed consistent strong support for Greece’s ongoing effort to restore fiscal stability, implement structural reforms, recover competitiveness, and restart growth. There are no significant non-tariff barriers to U.S. exports. The top U.S. exports to Greece are defense articles, although U.S. business activity is expected to grow in the high-tech, biomedical, tourism development, medical, construction, food processing, specialty agriculture and packaging, and franchising sectors. U.S. companies are interested and involved in Greece’s privatization efforts. Further deregulation of Greece’s energy sector and the country’s central location as a transportation hub for Europe may offer additional opportunities in renewables, gas, refinery, and related sectors. Greece participates in the Visa Waiver Program, which allows nationals of participating countries to travel to the United States for certain business or tourism purposes for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa.
Greece’s Membership in International Organizations
Greece and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization. Greece is also a permanent observer to the Organization of American States.
The U.S. Ambassador to Greece is Geoffrey R. Pyatt; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department’s Key Officers List.
More information about Greece is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here: