Pompeo in Athens over the weekend; defense tops Greek side's interest

Friday, 04 October 2019 20:46
UPD:20:49
REUTERS/POOL
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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives in Athens on Friday evening ahead of a long day of contacts with top government officials the next day, with the Greek side particularly interested in greater defense cooperation amid continuing Turkish provocations in both the eastern Aegean and Mediterranean.

Talks with his Greek counterpart, Nikos Dendias, are scheduled for Saturday at 12.30 p.m. (10.30 GMT), with the agenda officially listing “bilateral and regional issues of interest”.

On the surface, the signing of a Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement (MDCΑ) will dominate Pompeo’s visit to the country, along with a meeting with Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis. No statements to the press are expected.

Finally, Pompeo will also meet with Greek DM Nikos Panagiotopoulos, with bilateral defense cooperation expected to dominate the talks.

Press speculation in Athens was rife this week, with reports pointing to significant Greek interest in weapons system procurement, possibly from strategic US armed forces reserves.

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