Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou is on an official visit to the Republic of Cyprus over the next few days, following an invitation by Nicosia and just days after her recent visit to Kastellorizo that raised eyebrows in Ankara.
According to the Cyprus News Agency, the President of the Hellenic on Monday begins a two-day official visit to Cyprus, noting this would be her first official visit abroad after assuming her office.
Sakellaropoulou will meet with President Nicos Anastasiades, House Speaker Demetris Syllouris, the Archbishop of Cyprus Chrysostomos, as well as political party leaders.
Sakellaropoulou raised eyebrows last week in Ankara after she visited Greek islands off the coast of Turkey, a move Ankara viewed as provocative
The Greek president, who previously served as president of Greece's top administrative court, is also expected to meet with the Cypriot Chief Justice during her visit as well as a number of professional networks and associations.
According to Kathimerini, the Greek president intended to visit Cyprus immediately after taking office in March, but the pandemic and the subsequent measures to prevent its spread postponed her trip.
The Greek president’s visit comes at a time when high tensions between Athens and Ankara had peaked over the last few weeks.
Sakellaropoulou also raised eyebrows last week in Ankara after she visited Greek islands off the coast of Turkey, a move Ankara viewed as provocative.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar criticized Sakellaropoulou for visiting the island of Kastellorizo (Megisti-Meis) to mark independence celebrations.
"As if there is no other island left for celebration, they come to these. These (acts), of course, disturb us,” Akar said.
But Sakellaropoulou said Turkey was "mounting pressure" on Athens, while she further accused Ankara of undermining peaceful coexistence in the area.
“I don’t think a peaceful visit from the president of Greece can be provocative in any way,” Sakellaropoulou told CNN last week.