Senior U.S. Defense Official to Visit Greece, Cyprus

Thomas W. Goffus, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO Policy, will reportedly visit Greece and Cyprus next week for contacts with the two governments.

At a period of heightened tensions with Turkey over sovereign rights in the Aegean and drilling off Cyprus, the visit is seen as an effort by Washington to reassure its allies.

Goffus is responsible for the day-to-day defense relationship between the United States, NATO, the EU and the nations of Europe.

According to a Cyprus News Agency (CNA) report, the agenda of Goffus’ visit to Athens includes the two countries’ relations as members of NATO and Greece’s armament program.

In Cyprus, the US official will meet Cyprus Defence Minister Savvas Angelides and other government officials to discuss bilateral cooperation in defense matters.

The green light for Goffus’ visit was given by Wess Mitchell, Assistant Secretary of State, who visited Cyprus last month, says CNA.