Public order minister to seek US help on intelligence

Public Order Minister Vassilis Kikilias is expected to seek closer cooperation with the US on fighting terrorism and dealing with irregular immigration when he travels to Washington next Friday for a week of meetings with American officials.

Ministry sources have told Kathimerini that Kikilias hopes to secure Washington’s help in dealing with domestic terrorists and possible jihadists that may pass through Greece with the aim of joining the Islamic State, or ISIS, in Syria and Iraq.

“Our intention is to ask for assistance with regard to technical equipment that would improve our capability in terms of security and communication,” said a Public Order Ministry official who wished to remain anonymous.

“The American government recognizes the progress that has been made on security matters over the past few months.”

Kikilias is due to hold talks with all of the top security officials in Washington. He is to meet first with Lisa Monaco, President Barack Obama’s adviser on homeland security issues, including counterterrorism. The Greek minister is also due to meet CIA chief John Brennan, as well as the head of the FBI, James Comey, and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

“We are working closely with the US, as well as Great Britain and Israel, with regard to the exchange of intelligence,” said the ministry source. “Our aim is to strengthen the level of cooperation in this area.”

Kikilias is also scheduled to meet with Senator Robert Menendez, who is the chairman of the Senate’s foreign affairs committee and has good knowledge of Greek and Cypriot issues.

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