U.S. Ambassador in Athens Geoffrey Pyatt highlighted Greece's role as a "builder of bridges" and a pillar of regional stability in statements to the press while visiting Andravida air base on Tuesday, while saying that the US was supportive of the approach taken by the Greek government on the issue of the two Greek soldiers held in Turkey. Pyatt was visiting the Andravida air base to watch the multinational military exercise Iniochos 2018, organised by the Hellenic Air Force Air Tactics Centre with the participation of Greek, US, United Arab Emirates, UK, Cypriot and Italian forces.
"I'll simply say that the United States is fully engaged on the question of the two soldiers, we're very supportive of the approach that the Tsipras government has taken to maintaining communications with Turkey and we hope that this issue will be resolved expeditiously," he said in response to questions on the issue.
Pyatt said he was delighted to be back in Andravida and "very proud that we have the US Air Force again participating so significantly in Iniochos '18."
"This has become an important multinational exercise with broad participation from across Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean, which reflects our ambition of Greece as a builder of bridges, as a pillar of regional stability," he said.
The ambassador also referred to his visit to Souda Bay on Monday for a briefing on the USS Carney's participation in the exercise Artemis Strike with Israel, noting that it was nice to have two back-to-back opportunities, "in a way that demonstrates the importance of our partnership with Greece, the great capacity of our Greek allies and the convergence of our strategic interests."