Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has told visiting US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Turkey, through its actions, is questioning the sovereignty of both Greece and Cyprus. Mitsotakis added that he expects a “positive contribution” from the United States.
The meeting between the two Saturday morning lasted about an hour, after which Pompeo visited Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos and was to meet later with Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias.
Mitsotakis said, on welcoming Pompeo:
“We have agreed, and I am very pleased, on updating the Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement. Something that enhances our common military and broader strategic footprint in the region always in favor of regional security and stability. All the more so when actions in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean question the sovereign rights of Greece and Cyprus, violating international law, and [which are] often accompanied by extreme and counterproductive rhetoric.
I am referring, Mr Secretary, to the practices of neighboring Turkey, which unfortunately often do not conform with the attitude of friendship and cooperation that Greece insists on. The European Union has taken an official position on these developments. Recent moves by Turkey on Block 7 of the Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone [NOTE: refers to drilling for oil and natural gas] violate the sovereign rights of Cyprus.
The US are particularly interested in the Eastern Mediterranean region. Cyprus is asking for nothing but the obvious: the application of international law. I look forward to a positive US contribution that will ultimately lead to a more constructive climate in the region.”
Mitsotakis also talked business, noting with pleasure renewed US interest in Greece.
Good to see Prime Minister Mitsotakis today. Had a constructive discussion on economic reform, energy cooperation, & other issues. #Greece is a pillar of stability in the region. The U.S. stands ready to partner with the new Greek government to build a prosperous future. pic.twitter.com/YRa8z7QlYg— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) October 5, 2019