Alexis Tsipras to visit Rome, Istanbul and Sofia

Alexis Tsipras to visit Rome, Istanbul and Sofia

Athens, May 19, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Spiros Sideris

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will have a series of contacts during the following period, starting from Rome on May 20, with the aim to expand alliances, attract investors, solving the refugee issue, and bilateral relations of Greece.

Alexis Tsipras will travel to Rome on Friday, May 20, in order to attend the second meeting of European Socialists Leaders to be held in the Italian capital. It is the second time the Prime Minister will attendat a meeting of European Socialists and this triggers scenarios for cooperation between SYRIZA and the European Socialists, which brings the reaction of PASOK and The River, which belong to the same Eurogroup.

European Socialists eye favourably a cooperation with SYRIZA, a member of the coalition government in Greece, in an attempt to change the economic policy in the EU, which originates from Germany and the European People’s Party, to where Angela Merkel’s CDU belongs to. The support SYRIZA received recently from European Socialists by mouth of its president Gianni Pittella, has not gone unnoticed.

On May 22, Alexis Tsipras will travel to Istanbul to participate in the UN World Humanitarian Summit, where he will meet with President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan on May 23. In the meeting, according to unconfirmed information, the two men are expected to discuss the refugee crisis, the implementation of the EU-Turkey Agreement and the bilateral relations with the main issue being the violations of Turkish Armed Forces in the Aegean.

The meeting is crucial, given the change of attitude from Erdogan, who has openly clashed with the Europeans for the visa, threatening to blow the agreement on the refugee in the air. If this happens, it is obvious that the first country to face a problem, and what’s more during the tourist season, will be Greece.

Also important will be the change that has taken place after the extraordinary congress of the AKP on May 22, which will decide on the new president of the party, who will subsequently become the new Prime Minister of Turkey. The pro-European policy of Ahmet Davutoglu had helped Turkish relations and this time there is concern about the future of these relations with the new Turkish Prime Minister.

On May 25, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will meet in Athens with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, who will come directly from Istanbul, which the Cypriot leader will visit for the first time. N. Anastasiades will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides and government spokesman Nikos Christodoulides. The focus of the meeting will be the Cyprus issue, energy, broader regional developments and the refugee issue. Following that, Ioannis Kasoulides will participate in the National Council on Foreign Policy, chaired by Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, in which will there will be an updated on the Cyprus issue.

On May 27, the Prime Minister will welcome in Athens the Russian President Vladimir Putin, while in early June he will participate in the SEECP meeting in Sofia.