Greek defence chief meets U.S. ambassador in Athens

Chief of the Hellenic National Defence Staff Admiral Angelos Apostolakis met U.S. Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey R. Pyatt on Wednesday to discuss regional developments, including the country’s increasingly tense relationship with its neighbours in Turkey, Greek newspaper Kathimerini reports.

Two Greek soldiers were arrested last weekend by Turkish authorities after straying across the border onto Turkish territory. The pair continue to be detained on espionage charges, after a Turkish court rejected the Greek request for their release on Monday.

The official statement on their meeting said that the soldiers were one of the topics discussed by Apostolakis and Pyatt, according to Kathimerini.

Turkey’s stance on gas exploration rights around Cyprus has also frayed tensions between the countries. Turkey has blocked vessels from conducting gas exploration in the waters near the island, saying this violates the rights of Turkish Cypriots in north Cyprus. The arrival of U.S. naval vessels in the area caused speculation they have been sent to deter further obstruction from Turkey.