Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was at the Alexandroupolis airport on Tuesday to welcome President of the European Council Charles Michel, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Parliament President David Sassoli, European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas to Greece.
The Prime Minister of Croatia, Andrej Plenkovic, and Croatian Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Davor Božinović also made the trip and were greeted by the Greek PM upon their arrival.
Starting my visit to #Greece to assess efforts to protect the border. Flying along the Evros river to inspect the situation on the Greek-Turkish border along with 🇬🇷 PM @kmitsotakis, @EP_President David Sassoli, @eucopresident Charles Michel and 🇭🇷 PM @AndrejPlenkovic. pic.twitter.com/CFboLsSUsr
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) March 3, 2020
This is the first time the entire leadership of the European Union, comprised of its top three positions, along with the Premier of the state that holds the EU’s rotating Presidency, has visited any place as a group, which sends a message of clear support for Greece at this crucial time.
According to government sources quoted by the state-run AMNA news agency, PM Mitsotakis had a brief discussion with the heads of the EU at the airport, briefing them on the situation at the Greek border, which are also the borders of the European Union itself.
On the way to Greece with Commission President @vonderleyen and @eucopresident Michel. We visit the Greek-Turkish border together with @PrimeministerGR Mitsotakis to assess the situation. This is a European challenge, we need to respond with solidarity and respect for our values. pic.twitter.com/DH4uaDTtS3
— David Sassoli (@EP_President) March 3, 2020
Afterward, Mitsotakis and the European officials climbed into a military helicopter which flew over the land border with Turkey.
The European leadership is then scheduled to visit the Greek city of Orestiada and particularly Greece’s ”Guardpost 1.”
Visit to Orestiada with @PrimeMinisterGR to witness the situation on the borders of Europe.
We fully support the Greek efforts, protecting borders with respect for international law, human rights and dignity is essential.
— Charles Michel (@eucopresident) March 3, 2020
The European Union leadership will be briefed there about the current situation by General Konstantinos Floros, the chief of the National Defense General Staff.
At 15:30 local time, the Greek Prime Minister and the heads of the European Union will make joint statements to the press at the cultural center of the small border village of Kastanies.
TODAY – 14:30 Brussels Time
— EU Council Press (@EUCouncilPress) March 3, 2020