Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, right, walks with Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias, Wednesday, July 17, 2019, during their meeting at the State Department in Washington. [Jacquelyn Martin/AP]
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said that he asked for a “clean line of communication” between Athens and Washington in the event that “issues” arise with Turkey, during his first meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington on Wednesday. “The Americans noted this (request) and will answer us,” he said.
Dendias said he was “happy” that one of his first meetings as foreign minister was with Pompeo, with whom he also discussed the Strategic Dialogue between the two countries and how to further deepen it.
“We all the know that the close relationship between Greece and the US has longevity, but it is very important to deepen and expand it,” he said, adding that he invited Pompeo to attend the Strategic Dialogue when it takes place in Athens in the coming months.
The two men also discussed regional energy developments and the trilateral cooperation between Greece, Israel and Cyprus, which is being backed by the US.
For his part, Pompeo noted in a tweet that “Greece is a pillar of stability in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Balkans and an important NATO ally.”
“We look forward to continuing to working closely together to promote stability and prosperity in the region,” he added.
The most pressing issue for Washington is, reportedly, the extension of Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement (MDCA) between the two countries.
Dendias also met with National Security adviser John Bolton, Democratic Senator Bob Menendez and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The minister was also to attend the Ministerial Conference to Advance Religious Freedom organized on Wednesday by Pompeo in Washington with the participation of religious leaders as well as new Archbishop of America Elpidophoros, who also had the opportunity to meet US President Donald Trump.
“President Trump is ready to support Christians the world over,” Elpidophoros reportedly said, adding that Trump will also “obviously” support the Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarchate.