General Joseph Dunford, the highest ranking U.S. military officer began his two-day visit to Greece on Monday “starting off a week of high-level contacts between the two countries amid increased strain between the United States and Turkey”, the AP has reported.
Dunford is the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) or representative of all branches of the U.S. military and has planned to hold a meeting with his Greek counterpart, Adm. Evangelos Apostolakis in Athens, on Tuesday, September 4.
“Such a trip to Greece without a stop in Turkey would have been unheard of in previous years as every administration before this one walked on egg shells to not upset the fragile balance between the two nations”, a former U.S. Ambassador to Greece said on condition of anonymity, to The Pappas Post.
The head of the CJCS’s visit will be followed by that of the U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who is scheduled to visit the annual Thessaloniki (northern Greece) International Trade Fair (2018 TIF) with the United States being the state honoured at the 2018 Fair.
“The United States is keen to boost trade and military cooperation with NATO ally Greece”, AP noted, “as tension with neighboring Turkey continues to escalate over a variety of regional and political disputes.”
Wilbur Ross will be accompanied by the Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, the chairman of the Senate committee of homeland security and subcommittee on European and regional security co-operation….. / IBNA
Main Photo: U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joseph Dunford