Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is expected to plug Greece’s geostrategic role as a pillar of stability in a volatile region and an important ally at Thursday's informal NATO summit in Brussels, which will be held under the dark shadow cast by Monday’s terror attack in Manchester.
The summit will also have added value in terms of interest due to the attendance of US President Donald Trump and newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron.
Apart from meeting with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, Tsipras’s aides said he will most likely hold brief meetings on the sidelines of the summit with both the French and American leaders, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and, possibly, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as well.
Tsipras is accompanied in Brussels by Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias and Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, who will also meet with their NATO counterparts.
It will be Trump’s first meeting at the headquarters of NATO, which he has derided in the past as “obsolete,” while has given mixed signals over his intentions with regard to the Alliance, with analysts pondering which Trump will turn up in Brussels.
The US leader has insisted since his presidential campaign that NATO members have not been paying their fair share. He is expected to unveil a monument at the new NATO headquarters made of metal from the World Trade Center which was destroyed during the September 11, 2001 attacks.