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US Joint Chiefs of Staff on two-day visit to Greece amid strain with Turkey

The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen Joseph Dunford has begun a two-day visit to Greece, starting off a week of high-level contacts between the two countries amid increased strain between the United States and Turkey.

Gen. Joseph Dunford arrived Monday and is scheduled to meet his Greek counterpart Adm. Evangelos Apostolakis in Athens Tuesday.

“Staff Gen. Joe Dunford just arrived in Greece 🇬🇷 to meet with his counterpart in the Hellenic Armed Forces to discuss ways to deepen our security cooperation within the NATO alliance,” the US Joint Staffs wrote on Facebook.

Gen Dunford was welcomed by deputy Chief of Greek General Staff Lt. Gen. Konstantinos Floros.

“Greece is a member of the coalition to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and Greek forces are also cooperating in the refugee crisis that affects the nations of the Mediterranean Sea,” the US Department of Defense noted in a relevant post about Dunford’s visit.

The United States is keen to boost trade and military cooperation with NATO ally Greece as tension with neighboring Turkey continues to escalate over a variety of regional and political disputes.

Later this week, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is due to visit the annual International Fair of Thessaloniki in northern Greece, along with Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, who is chairman of the Senate committee of homeland security and subcommittee on European and regional security cooperation.

pictures by usdoddefensegov

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