US planning diplomatic initiative to ease tensions between Turkey, Greece: Pompeo

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (Alex Wong/Getty Images/AFP)

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has confirmed plans for a “diplomatic initiative” to help de-escalate tension resulting from recent Turkish moves challenging Greece’s sovereign rights off the coast of the island of Crete, Greek daily Kathimerini’s English website reported.

In comments to Kathimerini at the State Department following the reception he and Vice President Mike Pence hosted in honor of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ visit to Washington, where the Greek premier also had talks with US President Donald Trump, Pompeo indicated that a new initiative would be launched to address growing friction between Greece and Turkey following Ankara’s signing of a controversial maritime borders agreement with the Libyan government in Tripoli.

Other sources suggested that Washington would coordinate with Athens to clearly communicate its message to Ankara in an effort to avoid a new source of tensions in the eastern Mediterranean, and more visits of US diplomats are expected in the next few months to both countries to help keep their channels of communication open and support diplomacy as part of a broader US strategy to encourage dialogue between the NATO partners.

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