US Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt met with local officials during a visit to the northwestern city of Ioannina on Friday.

Pyatt said that Greece and the United States shared an interest in seeing the western Balkans continue their efforts to join the European Union and, if they chose so, NATO as well. "On the Balkans, we discussed how the U.S. and Greece, as pillar of stability in the region, share (the) outlook that these countries should continue progress to EU institutions, EU and NATO if they choose," he said in a tweet.

The ambassador also noted Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his government's continuing efforts to continue talks with Turkey and to help it remain focused on the West. Greece and the US have common interests in terms of Turkey and prefer to see it connected to the West and European institutions.

On his meeting with the Ioannina mayor, Pyatt tweeted, "I very much appreciated deep discussion with Ioannina's Mayor Thomas Begas on my optimism on the prospects for new industry, economic growth in Epiros that the new highway brings with it."