Defense Minister Panos Kammenos on Tuesday said that outgoing US President Barack Obama’s visit to Greece constitutes a message that the debt-wracked nation is on its way out of the crisis.
The official, who also heads the junior coalition partner Independent Greeks, thanked Obama on “behalf of the Greek people for helping Greece in difficult times.”
Kammenos was speaking on the radio after returning from Athens International Airport, where he was part of the official delegation welcoming Obama to Greece.
The defense minister said that the US president was extremely affable and “very happy to be in Greece.”
“[President Obama] said that it was his personal choice to visit our country, the country of democracy, in his words,” Kammenos said, adding that he expects the outgoing US president’s visit to “help [Greece] on many levels.”
Greece’s leftist-led government sees the outgoing US president’s visit as an opportunity to gain his public support on a range of issues, including its key demand for debt relief, the Cyprus peace talks and his endorsement of Greece’s role in the wider region.