Geoffrey R. Pyatt, U.S. Ambassador to the Hellenic Republic will be travelling to Ankara today and until Friday for consultations with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Wess Mitchell.
The U.S. officials will be joined by several more of their regional counterparts, according to a U.S. Embassy press release in order to discuss an array of topics that do not include the tense relations between Greece and neighbouring NATO ally Turkey.
The most recent Imia incident that occurred on Monday saw a Turkish coast guard patrol vessel ramming and damaging a Greek boat near the Imia islets.
“Including our ambitious energy agenda, where coordination with Ambassadors from Baku to Belgrade is intrinsic to our strategy,” the statement explained highlighting that “Contrary to press reports, he will not be meeting with Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.”
According to the U.S embassy in Greece, this trip to the Turkish capital had been planned before the Imia fall-out.
In the meantime, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim’s statements have been creating even more tension between the two countries.
Yildirim said that “the Aegean should be a sea of friendship between Greece” following a phone conversation with Greek premier Alexis Tsipras.
“We explicitly expressed to him [Tsipras] that staying away from tensions will be better, with regards to relations between the two countries,” Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reported.
The U.S. Department of State has reportedly called on both countries to “de-escalate tensions”.