Obama visit hailed as nod to Greece’s regional role


A day after the White House confirmed that US President Barack Obama will pay a post-election visit to Athens, sources close to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said the news marked a recognition of Greece’s role “as a pillar of stability in the wider region.”

Sources said talks between Obama and Greek officials will focus on ways to maintain stability and security in the region, adding that Greece’s role had been “strengthened due to regional developments and growing volatility.”

The announcement of the visit, sources said, came in the wake of the left-led government’s “multifaceted foreign policy which includes cooperation and contacts with a wide range of key regional and global players from Israel and Palestine to Egypt and Iran. From China and Russia to the traditional European powers and the USA.”

The White House confirmed Tuesday that Obama will travel to Greece on November 15, a week after the US presidential elections, to “reaffirm our support for ongoing efforts to place the Greek economy on a path to sustainability and renewed prosperity” and to “make clear our appreciation for the remarkable generosity shown by the Greek government and people to refugees and migrants.”

Obama will meet with his Greek counterpart Prokopis Pavlopoulos and Tsipras, according to the statement, which did not confirm reports that he will also visit Lesvos during his trip to Greece.