Greek Defense Minister Evangelos Apostolakis on Thursday met with Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan to reaffirm US and Greek commitment to cooperation with the aim of strengthening bilateral defense and security and NATO.
During talks in Washington, the two sides continued discussions started a year ago during US-Greece Strategic Dialogue. According to a spokesperson, Sullivan underscored the strategic importance of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Balkans, while highlighting Greece’s role as a pillar of stability and as a key American partner in the region.
Apostolakis reportedly briefed Sullivan on upcoming general elections in Greece, stressing the need of maintaining the “exceptional” level of communication between Athens and Washington.
Meanwhile, in his meetings with US Senators and members of Congress, Apostolakis reportedly presented Greece’s positions on a series of emerging challenges seen as posing a threat to regional security.
The Greek minister stressed Turkey’s constant violations of Greek airspace and territorial waters, while warning against Ankara’s plans to drill for oil and gas inside Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
“This visit had to take place because we are giving a true reflection of what is happening in the region, which is not always the impression they have here in the US,” Apostolakis was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, speaking at the EU-Foreign Policy Defense Forum at the US Institute of Peace in Washington, Apostolakis reportedly voiced his concern about Turkey’s “destabilizing role” in the region, adding that Greece has urged Ankara to refrain from further unilateral actions that are in violation of international law.