U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary Josh Huck stressed that relations between Greece and the U.S. were at the best level ever during a press briefing in Washington DC, Wednesday, ahead of the U.S.-Greece Strategic Dialogue session scheduled to take place this Friday at the State Department.

The U.S. diplomat added these close ties between the two countries were a result of ongoing efforts by both governments.

As reported by Greek public broadcaster ERT, referring to the constructive role Greece played in the wider region and the initiative it had undertaken, the U.S. official underlined that Greece was not only a “stable partner”, but a country that promoted stability in the region.”

On the issue of the long delay of the procurement of the 5th generation F-35 fighter jets to Athens, and the strategic connection the U.S. had placed on the matter with F-16 sales to Turkey, he noted that although the U.S would have liked things to have progressed more rapidly, these were very complex agreements and the U.S was satisfied with progress so far.

Huck dubbed the F-35 deal with Greece a positive development for the country and its capabilities, as well as the Greek-U.S. defensive and NATO partnerships as it would enhance the alliance’s capacity.

Asked about whether the U.S was concerned Turkey might use the upgraded F-16 jets against Greece, the official, diplomatically, praised the leading role of both the Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Turkish President Recep Erdogan for striving to overcome long-standing bilateral disputes, adding that the U.S completely backed the recent visible rapprochement between the two countries.

Meanwhile, earlier a U.S State Department official commented on whether Turkey would receive the F-35 jets if Ankara decided to scrap a deal with Russia for the supply of the S-400 anti-aircraft missile system, saying the U.S had called on Turkey to abandon the Russian system as it posed a risk to NATO and was incompatible with the military of the alliance.