US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will meet with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Oct. 5, after travelling to Italy, Montenegro, and North Macedonia, said the US State Department spokesperson.
In a special briefing, the spokesperson said that Pompeo would leave the United States on Monday night (Sept. 30) for Italy. He will depart Italy on Friday (Oct. 4) for short stops in Montenegro and North Macedonia before going to Athens, returning to the US on Sunday (Oct. 6).
On Saturday (Oct. 5), the US official is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Mitsotakis, who will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and National Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos.
During the briefing, the spokesman said that Pompeo will “obviously have lots of things to discuss with our ally Greece, but we are also sort of prepping the 2019 U.S.-Greece Strategic Dialogue, which will formally then take place on Monday, October 7, after the Secretary has departed.”
“So he and the prime minister,” he explained, “will be able to kind of set the stage for that Strategic Dialogue, which runs through a whole range of things that we work on together with Greece – obviously defense and security, Greece a major and important NATO ally – the Eastern Mediterranean, the Aegean, the Black Sea, all important areas in terms of our National Security Strategy.”
At the same time, he said, “as important, they’ll look at research and business opportunities, obviously a lot of cultural and arts things.”
The secretary will deliver a speech in Greece on the bilateral relationship “and frankly the rapid growth in economic ties between our two countries,” the spokesman said, adding, “I think those that look into it – Greece, which has gone through, as we know, a very difficult period, is really kind of a new Greece and there’s a lot going on there in terms of economic opportunity and growth.”