City diplomacy

Ioannina Mayor Moses Elisaf has taken the baton from his former Thessaloniki counterpart Yiannis Boutaris in "city diplomacy," having recently conducted a series of important meetings in Albania as part of an initiative to promote his city and develop closer ties with the neighboring country. Ioannina is among a number of Greek cities with significant ties with communities across the border - including ethnic Greeks - and an immensely multinational and multicultural history, assets that Mayor Elisaf is trying to capitalize on in a bid to boost growth in both Ioannina and the impoverished mountain villages of Epirus, but also to strengthen relations between the two peoples.

The cities of Florina, Kastoria, Kilkis, Serres, Drama, Alexandroupoli, Kavala and, of course, Thessaloniki are also close to the border and share traditional bonds with the communities on the "other side"...

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