US army officials in Athens amid talk on regional role

US army officials in Athens amid talk on regional role

Amid heightened tension in the Aegean, senior United States armed forces officials are expected to visit Greece in the coming days, in a move which analysts say highlights the country’s growing geostrategic significance in the eyes of Washington policymakers.

The visit comes after the chief of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff, Admiral Evangelos Apostolakis, traveled to the US for a meeting with his American counterpart, Joseph Dunford, and other officials.

The protracted conflicts in the Middle East and competition over hydrocarbon rights in the Eastern Mediterranean basin are seen as expanding Greece’s role beyond the Aegean Sea.

The scope and objectives of this role – which Greece has sought to play in the past – remain unclear, mainly because of skepticism regarding Athens’s genuine capacity to fulfil this potential.

Experts say that Turkey’s aggression in the Aegean is testament to Ankara’s growing discontent over Greece’s status as a maritime power – despite the limitations of the Hellenic Navy – and the prospect of its exerting more influence in the Eastern Mediterranean.

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