EU member-state Foreign Ministers visit Athens

Alternate Foreign Minister for European Affairs, Nikos Xydakis on Friday and Saturday will receive six Ministers and Deputy Ministers of European Union member states. The purpose of the visit is to express the European solidarity with regard to the management of the migration/refugee crisis following last month’s decisions of the European Council.

The delegation will include Bert Koenders, the Foreign Minister of Holland and representative of the country currently holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union; Harlem Désir, France’s Deputy Minister for European Affairs; Miroslav Lajčák, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Slovakia; Sandro Gozi, Italy’s Deputy Minister to the Prime Minister for European Affairs; Margarida Marques, the Portuguese Deputy Foreign Minister for European Affairs; Ian Borg, Deputy Minister at Malta’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, responsible for preparation for Malta’s 2017 Presidency of the Council of the EU and for management of EU funds.

The Ministers and Deputy Ministers will be received by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras at the Maximos Mansion on Friday.

A meeting will be held on Saturday morning at the Foreign Ministry, with the participation of a Greek government delegation, consisted of Alternate Foreign Minister for European Affairs, Nikos Xydakis, Minister of Shipping and Island Policy, Thodoris Dritsas, Alternate Minister for Migration Policy, Ioannis Mouzalas and the Secretary General of the Defence Ministry, Ioannis Tafylis. The Greek side will present its position on the implementation of the decisions of the European Council, the practices and operational difficulties and the solutions proposed.

Ministers and Deputy Ministers will also visit the Elaionas Open-structured Refugee Hospitality Center, where they will be received by the Secretary General for Population and Social Cohesion, Vasileios Papadopoulos.

A press conference will follow at 13:30 at the Foreign Ministry (Kranidiotis Hall, 1 Akadimias St.) by Mr. Xydakis and the Foreign Minister of Holland, Bert Koenders, in the presence of all other participating Ministers.