WASHINGTON (ANA/ P. Kasfikis) The upcoming visit to Greece by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is an indication that U.S.-Greek relations have reached a historically high level, a senior State Department official said on Friday.
"This is the second trip by Secretary Pompeo to Greece. Just one year ago we went to Greece for the Strategic Dialogue. I think the fact that we are returning underlines how strong U.S.-Greek ties have become in recent years," the official said, noting that the upcoming visit would highlight the successes in bilateral relations and Greece's emergence as a strong regional partner for the U.S. in security and energy.
Pompeo will start his visit in Thessaloniki, where he will be met by Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias. The Secretary of State will emphasise the importance of energy diversity and the energy infrastructure projects underway in Greece, as well as signing a bilateral agreement for cooperation in the science and technology sectors.
"In Thessaloniki, we will show that we are at Greece's side, investing in the future of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Balkans. The U.S. is striving to help Greece to become a more capable partner of the U.S. in the sectors of energy diversity and independence," the official said.
Pompeo's next stop will be Crete, where he will be met by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and visit the Souda base.
Commenting on recent developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, the official noted Washington's repeated calls for de-escalation and said that Pompeo welcomes recent positive developments and the prospect of the resumption of dialogue, including the announcement that the two sides will repeat exploratory talks. The official said that this will probably be among the issues discussed during the visit, though its primary purpose is to further the growth of bilateral relations.
Concluding, he noted that progress in the relationship between Greece and the U.S. will be a good development for the region as a whole. Regarding Turkey, he said that relations with one country do not affect relations with another country.