Greece, US to co­op­er­ate on se­cu­rity

Kik­il­ias her­alds ex­change of in­for­ma­tion on bor­der en­tries amid ter­ror crack­down

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Greek and US au­thor­i­ties have agreed to boost their co­op­er­a­tion in in­ter­na­tional se­cu­rity af­fairs with the ex­change of in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing in­di­vid­u­als en­ter­ing the Euro­pean Union via Greece, Pub­lic Or­der Min­is­ter Vas­silis Kik­il­ias told re­porters yes­ter­day, after brief­ing Prime Min­is­ter An­to­nis Sa­ma­ras on a visit to the US where he met with of­fi­cials from the FBI, CIA and Na­tional Se­cu­rity Agency.

“There will be a broad­en­ing of co­op­er­a­tion as re­gards screen­ing so that Greek cit­i­zens can feel safe in their move­ments in and out of the coun­try,” Kik­il­ias said.

The min­is­ter did not elab­o­rate on me­dia re­ports that Greek and US of­fi­cials dis­cussed the pos­si­bil­ity of ji­hadists pass­ing through Greece but he noted that the prob­lem of rad­i­cal Is­lamic fight­ers was ob­vi­ously a pri­or­ity for Wash­ing­ton and that Athens stood ready to help. “We are work­ing with them on this and other mat­ters,” he said. He added that Greece was “a pil­lar of sta­bil­ity” in a volatile re­gion.

Asked whether US au­thor­i­ties were plan­ning to is­sue an an­nounce­ment re­gard­ing a bounty on Novem­ber 17 con­vict Christodou­los Xeros, who has been at large since last Jan­uary when he ab­sconded dur­ing a prison fur- lough, Kik­il­ias did not an­swer di­rectly but ap­peared to in­di­cate that de­vel­op­ments were ex­pected. “An­nounce­ments will be is­sued by the State Depart­ment,” he said.

Greek au­thor­i­ties have of­fered a 1-mil­lion-euro re­ward for in­for­ma­tion lead­ing to the ar­rest of the 55-year-old Xeros, who vowed a re­turn to vi­o­lence in a video re­leased on the In­ter­net shortly after his dis­ap­pear­ance last Jan­uary.

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