Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will visit Athens next week in an effort to de-escalate tensions between Greece and Turkey, it was confirmed on Monday.
During the visit, which will take place between Monday 28 and Wednesday 30 September, Pompeo will meet Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis and he will also visit the Souda naval base on Crete.
The exact schedule of the US Secretary of State’s visit and contacts will be announced in the coming days.
Greece expects that Pompeo would extend the US support of the Greek positions regarding the Eastern Mediterranean, government spokesman Stelios Petsas said.
“We expect he will confirm what has been said many times by the American side lately. That is, the practical support of Greek positions at all levels, especially against the Turkish challenges in the Eastern Mediterranean.”
During his visit to Cyprus earlier in September, Pompeo expressed his concern about Turkey’s actions in the Eastern Mediterranean. “We remain deeply concerned about Turkey’s ongoing operations searching for natural resources in areas over which Greece and Cyprus assert jurisdiction in the Eastern Mediterranean,” Pompeo stated.
Petsas also added that issues of bilateral defense-military cooperation between Greece and the US will also be discussed.
Analysts say Washington attaches great strategic, geopolitical and military importance to Greek infrastructure, such as the port of Alexandroupolis, while they are also interested in investing in sectors such as shipyards related to military construction.