(5 Oct 2019) US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Greek officials in Athens on Saturday on the last leg of a four-nation European tour that has been overshadowed by the impeachment inquiry in Washington.
During a joint news conference with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, Pompeo said the State Department would “do all the things we are required to do by law” in answer to a congressional subpoena for documents relating to Ukraine.
He stopped short of specifying whether the State Department met a Friday deadline to respond to the subpoena but alleged staff had been “harassed” by being contacted directly about the documents.
The inquiry into whether US President Donald Trump requested Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son has now embroiled the State Department.
Earlier this week in Rome, Pompeo acknowledged for the first time that he had been on the July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
Pompeo said his role, “at the direction of the president”, had been to build a positive relationship with Zelenskiy while looking at corruption that has long plagued Ukraine.
On North Korea, Pompeo said it was too soon to know if talks in Stockholm would yield progress but he was hopeful they would.
North Korea resumed missile tests after a second summit between Trump and Kim Jong Un collapsed in February.
US officials described it as critical to responding to new security challenges in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, and where Cyprus and Turkey are locked in a dispute.
Turkey has recently attempted to drill for gas in waters where Cyprus has exclusive economic rights and European energy companies are already licensed to conduct a search.
Pompeo said the US is working to de-escalate tensions but underscored that “we can’t let anyone – Turkey is the topic of the day – engage in illegal drilling activity.”
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