In her first visit to the Defense Ministry on Tuesday, Greece’s new President Katerina Sakellaropoulou underlined the crucial role of the armed forces in protecting the country’s territorial integrity and averting the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Sakellaropoulou, who was sworn in to her role last week in a muted ceremony overshadowed by the spread of the virus, was received at the ministry Tuesday by Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos and top military officials led by the chief of the Hellenic Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Konstantinos Floros.
A confidential briefing on the latest developments related to matters of national security followed.
The president who, according to Greece’s Constitution is the symbolic head of the country’s armed forces, said her appointment to the post was an “an extreme honor and recognition for all women, including those who serve in the armed forces.”
In the face of growing Turkish aggression at Greece’s land and sea borders and in the Eastern Mediterranean in general, Sakellaropoulou indicated that Greek security concerns were also European ones.
“Defending our territorial sovereignty and our national borders acquires a European dimension as Greece’s borders are simultaneously also the southeastern borders of the European Union,” she said.
Sakellaropoulou also referred directly to Turkey, for the first time, as a country that “while exploiting the pain and misery of desperate people in an unprecedented way, plots against our borders in Evros.”