U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in Greece at 10:30am local time, becoming the fourth sitting American President to visit the country.
At Eleftherios Venizelos Airport where Air Force One touched down, he was greeted by a military welcome, including Greece’s defense minister Panos Kammenos. Obama is scheduled to meet with prime minister Alexis Tsipras and president Prokopis Pavlopoulos.
He will also visit the Acropolis and give a landmark speech about democracy and its role in the world. Obama’s speech has been described as a “legacy speech,” or one he would like people to refer to when discussing his presidency.
Obama is also bring a message of reconciliation and support for the NATO and European alliance from President-elect Donald Trump, seeking to reassure allies on the other side of the Atlantic that Trump’s campaign rhetoric or what he may have suggested treating U.S.-European relations was merely rhetoric.
“In my conversation with the president-elect, he expressed a great interest in maintaining our core strategic relationships,” Obama said in a news conference before departing Washington Monday.
According to an interview with Kathimerini ahead of his arrival in Greece, Obama did mention that he will argue for “meaningful debt relief” for Greece. He travels to Berlin after his two days in Greece where he will meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.