The Latest: Obama: American democracy bigger than 1 person

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The Latest on President Barack Obama's final foreign tour as president (all times local):

2:35 p.m.

President Barack Obama says he and President-elect Donald Trump "could not be more different." But he says American democracy is bigger than any one person.

Obama is offering reassurances during a speech in Athens that "our future will be OK." He says that's as long as people retain faith in democracy and don't waver from democratic principles.

Obama assures that he'll work with Trump's team in the coming weeks on a smooth handover of power. He says "that's how democracy has to work."

Obama says free elections are critical because citizens need to choose their own leaders. He adds, "Even if your candidate doesn't always win."


2:30 p.m.

President Barack Obama says Greece's acceptance of refugees has "inspired the world" - but it cannot handle Europe's migration problems alone.

Speaking in Athens, Obama says "only a truly collective response by Europe and the world" can handle the hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing violence in the Middle East.

A reluctance by many other European Union countries to host refugees has left more than 60,000 people stranded in Greece, many living in overcrowded camps dotted across the country.

Obama says Greece "cannot be expected to bear the burden alone."


2:25 p.m.

President Barack Obama says he's confident the U.S. commitment to the trans-Atlantic alliance will continue. He says that includes the U.S. pledge to defend all its NATO treaty allies.

Obama isn't mentioning President-elect Donald Trump by name but is alluding to his campaign comments suggesting the U.S. might not defend NATO allies who don't pay enough of the alliance's costs.

Obama says in a speech in Athens, Greece, that the alliance has been supported consistently by both Republican and Democratic administrations in the U.S. He says NATO is as ready as it has ever been to ensure collective security.

Greece is a member of NATO.


2:15 p.m.

President Barack Obama is opening a speech in Athens with a tribute to the birthplace of democracy.

Obama is citing a long list of ancient Greek statesmen and philosophers who crafted the notion that "we are citizens, not servants" and a "belief in equality before the law."

Obama is delivering what is likely his last major address abroad as president. He says over his eight years in office he still believe that people of all country share a desire to control their own lives and communities.

He says, "these yearnings are universal."


1: 20 p.m.

President Barack Obama is getting a crash course in Greek mythology and antiquity at the Acropolis Museum in Athens.

Obama is touring the museum after descending from the hilltop complex where he had lingered at the base of the Parthenon and glanced around at the panoramic view of Athens.

Obama is being escorted through the museum by its president, Professor Dimitrios Pandermalis. He says the marble busts and statues are "beautiful."


11:50 a.m.

President Barack Obama is getting an up-close look at the Acropolis, the famed ancient citadel in Athens.

Obama entered the complex through the Propylaea and walked along the Parthenon. The whole site is closed just for his visit.

The hilltop complex is considered a monument to free thoughts, artistic expression and architectural prowess.

The 5th Century B.C. Parthenon temple built by Ictinus is surrounded these days by scaffolding. From the hilltop, Obama could look out in nearly every direction at sprawling Athens.

A guide from Greece's Ministry of Culture is accompanying Obama on his tour.


11:30 a.m.

President Barack Obama is starting his final day in Greece with a tour of the Acropolis, the nation's most famous ancient monument.

The ancient site will remain closed to the public for the day to accommodate the president's visit.

Obama will also deliver a speech to the Greek people as he winds up the first leg of his final foreign tour as president and heads from Greece to Germany.

The president is expected to touch on both the country's efforts to emerge from its financial crisis, and on its role in dealing with hundreds of thousands of refugees who have crossed Greece's borders on their way to more prosperous European countries.

Obama's visit to Greece is the first official visit by a sitting U.S. president since Bill Clinton.