Secretary of State Pompeo seen planning Athens visit in October
Even though an official date has yet to be officially set, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will most likely visit Athens on October 6-7, according to reports over the weekend.
The visit is expected to approve a one-year extension to the US-Greece defense pact also known as the Souda Agreement – referring to the use of the Souda naval base on the island of Crete by US forces.
The date has not been officially been set as Washington reportedly wants to hammer out all the details of the visit first.
Pompeo’s visit to Athens – along with a possible meeting between Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and US President Donald Trump in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly next month – was discussed last week by the Greek premier and US House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey at the Maximos Mansion in Athens.
Although technical details were not discussed in depth during the meeting – which was also attended by US Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt – the extension to the defense agreement was discussed.
The extension to the agreement entails only minor changes concerning technical details.
The Greek government is seeking only a one-year extension so as to have time to discuss details of a more wide-ranging deal with the US.
The flurry of meetings between high-ranking Greek and American officials is seen as yet another indication of the deep ties between the countries and the significance attached by Washington to Athens as a pillar of stability in the wider region.