US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Thessaloniki in northern Greece after midnight where he is scheduled to meet with his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias at 10 a.m. Monday.
Pompeo’s visit to Greece, his second in less than a year, is expected to focus on a deepening of bilateral military cooperation and Greek plans for defense procurements, while also evaluating tensions with Turkey and developments in the Eastern Mediterranean.
In a document it released on the occasion of Pompeo’s visit, the State Department said Greece “is a critical partner with which the United States shares key strategic goals.”
The US considers Greece “a pillar of stability in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Western Balkans and a vital partner in bolstering security and prosperity in the region,” the State Department document said.
“We are committed to supporting Greece’s security, prosperity, and continued democracy,” it added.
Hours before his trip, Pompeo had a discussion on de-escalating the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
Tweeting afterwards on his official account, Pompeo said he was “pleased” to discuss the issue with Stoltenberg and to “reiterate the importance of NATO Alliance unity.”