Tsipras to conduct ‘symbolic visit’ to Kalymnos, Farmakonisi


Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is set to visit the islands of Kalymnos and Farmakonisi on Saturday in a highly symbolic move following several days of mounting tensions in the Aegean, Skai television reported on Thursday.

Tsipras is to be accompanied by Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, who is also the leader of the junior coalition partner Independent Greeks, and Shipping Minister Panagiotis Kouroublis for a visit that will involve a blessing of the waters ceremony on the Epiphany public holiday.

Government sources referred to a "highly symbolic visit" by the premier to remote Aegean islands following a series of provocative statements by officials in neighboring Turkey, including Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, questioning the sovereignty of Greek islands and islets in the Aegean.

Tensions rose during a landmark visit to Greece last month by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who made waves by calling for a revision of the Treaty of Lausanne which set the modern borders between Greece and Turkey.