US moves expected for easing tension in East Med

US moves expected for easing tension in East Med

The United States will be assuming an active role in easing tensions created by Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean and Aegean, particularly following its maritime borders and defense agreements with Libya's Tripoli-based government, sources told Kathimerini in the wake of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis' meeting with US President Donald Trump in Washington on Tuesday.

According to the sources, Mitsotakis managed to fully convey Athens' concerns regarding Ankara's recent moves and to explain the possible repercussions of any further challenges to Greece's sovereign rights, especially over the Greek islands.

The Greek prime minister is also said to have urged Trump, given his close relationship with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to personally explain to the Turkish president what a further escalation of tension in the region could mean, stressing that Athens would be obliged to respond to any further moves from Ankara.

The positive results of the visit were also reflected in comments made by US Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at a reception dinner held for the Greek prime minister at the State Department on Wednesday.

“I saw the energy between you and President Trump yesterday in the Oval Office. I saw the friendship between you,” Pence said, addressing Mitsotakis.

Pompeo also described the relationship between Greece and the US as “fantastic,” saying that the US would “continue to support prosperity, security and democracy” in the country.

Mitsotakis also met on Wednesday with members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, among other officials, during which he presented Greece's positions vis-a-vis Turkey.

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