29 July, 2006
Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos received the Greek National Defense General Staff (GEETHA) Chief Admiral Panagiotis Hinofotis at the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul on Friday, and expressed the belief that the latter's visit to Turkey will contribute effectively to the new course in Greek-Turkish relations over the past few years.
Admiral Hinofotis, the first GEETHA Chief to visit Turkey in three decades, expressed the Greek armed forces’ respect for Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos and the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Center of the Christian Orthodox Faith.
The admiral and his entourage also visited the St. Georgios church before returning to Athens.
During his official visit to Turkey, Admiral Panagiotis Hinofotis met with his Turkish counterpart General Hilmi Ozkok in Ankara on Wednesday, while he also visited the Greek Ambassador in Turkey and attended a dinner given in his honor by Ozkok.
On Thursday, the Greek armed forces chief laid a wreath at the Kemal Ataturk Mausoleum and then departed for Istanbul, where he was met by the head of Turkey's 1st Field Army who accompanied him on his visits.
US state department deputy spokesman Tom Casey on Thursday said that the US considered the visit by Greece's national defense general staff (GEETHA) chief, Admiral Panayotis Hinofotis, to Turkey for talks with his Turkish counterpart General Hilmi Ozkok and the advancement of Confidence-Building Measures (CBMs) between the two countries as "positive".
Replying to press questions during a daily briefing, Casey said that "we support good and friendly relations and confidence-building measures being developed between our good friends and NATO allies", adding that "obviously, resolution of any differences that exist between those countries is something we'd support".
Hinofotis arrived in Ankara on Wednesday for a two-day official visit, the first by a Greek armed forces chief in three decades.
Source: Athens News Agency