US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will visit Greece on September 28, his first stop in a four-nation tour of Europe, the State Department announced on Thursday.
According to a press advisory by the State Department, Pompeo will meet with Prime Minister Mitsotakis and Foreign Minister Dendias “to renew our shared commitment to advance security, peace, and prosperity in the Eastern Mediterranean and celebrate the strongest U.S.-Greek relationship in decades.”
In Thessaloniki, the Secretary will sign a bilateral science and technology agreement, as well as host energy sector business leaders for a discussion to highlight energy diversification and infrastructure projects in Greece.
In Crete, the Secretary will visit Naval Support Activity Souda Bay to underscore the strong U.S. security partnership with NATO ally Greece.
Greece expects that Pompeo will extend the US’ support to the Greek positions regarding the Eastern Mediterranean, government spokesman Stelios Petsas said earlier in the week.
“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,” Petsas stated.
During his visit to Cyprus earlier in September, Pompeo expressed his concerns about Turkey’s recent 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,” he stated.
Petsas also added that issues of bilateral defense and military cooperation between Greece and the United States will also be discussed.
Analysts say that Washington attaches great strategic, geopolitical and military importance to Greece’s infrastructure, such as the port of Alexandroupolis, while they are also interested in investing in sectors such as shipyards, which build ships for the military.