President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou paid a visit to the islands of Limnos and Ai-Stratis, in the North Aegean, on Orthodox Easter Sunday.
Sakellaropoulou flew first to the border island of Limnos, base of the 130th Combat Group of the Hellenic Air Force, where she met with F-16 pilots and mechanics as well as Super Puma helicopters which fly to search and rescue missions in the Aegean. After congratulating the armed forces for their devotion to defending Greek sovereignty, she said, “Greece, a modern state in the heart of the European Union and NATO, stengthens its alliances, respects international law and desires peaceful collaboration and good relations with its neighbors. It does not threaten anyone, but neither will it allow unacceptable demands and threats by anyone.”
The president then flew by helicopter to the island of Ai-Stratis, and the Sialmas promontory, where she laid a wreath at the memorial for Air Force pilot Nikolaos Sialmas, “our first casualty of our Air Force during a dogfight in the Aegean,” as she said. Sialmas lost his life in June 1992 during a skirmish with a Turkish F-16.
Spending Easter Sunday on Ai-Stratis, Sakellaropoulou will also meet with the island’s entire body of 27 students and their teachers, following a personal request, as well as Mayor Maria Kokali. She is accompanied by Deputy National Defense Minister Alkiviadis Stefanis.