Charles D. Michel, the vice commandant of the US Coast Guard, held talks in Athens Tuesday with the chief of the Greek armed forces, Admiral Evangelos Apostolakis, which focused on Washington’s intention to contribute to patrols in the Aegean aimed at curbing illegal immigration.
Michel’s visit came a week after US Secretary of State John Kerry expressed Washington’s interest in contributing naval forces to NATO’s mission in the Aegean. Michel and Apostolakis discussed security issues in the eastern Aegean and illegal immigration.
The US vessel is to join four NATO ships currently patrolling the Aegean, the British Cardigan Bay, the Turkish Bodrum, the German Bonn and the Dutch Van Amstel.
In a related development, the chief of the Hellenic Air Force, Lieutenant General Christos Vaitsis, is to visit Ankara on June 14, the first ever visit to the Turkish capital by an HAF commander.