Thomas W. Goffus, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for European and NATO Policy, will visit Greece and Cyprus next week for contacts with the two governments.
According to well informed sources Goffus will meet Cyprus Defence Minister Savvas Angelides and other government officials to discuss bilateral cooperation in defence matters.
This is the second visit to Cyprus by a high-level Pentagon official and follows Goffus’ predecessor’s visit to the island in 2014. James Townsend visited Cyprus a few months after former US Vice President Joe Biden’s arrival and the visit was seen as part of upgrading bilateral relations.
The green light for Goffus’ visit was given by Wess Mitchell, Assistant Secretary of State, who visited Cyprus last month. The agenda of Goffus’ visit to Athens includes the two countries’ relations as members of NATO and Greece’s armament programme.
Diplomatic sources in Washington have said that due to the increasing tension between the US-Turkey relations, alternative choices are under study, including moving the US Incirlik air base.