Left: Sir Nicholas Houghton, Chief of the Defense Staff of the United Kingdom laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Syntagma Square, Athens. Photo Credit - British Embassy, Athens.
In this the 100th anniversary year of the start of the First World War (1914-1918) General Sir Nicholas Houghton, Chief of the Defence Staff of the United Kingdom visited Greece on July 16 at the invitation of the Chief of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff, General Mikhail Kostarakos.
General Houghton's visit to Athens is in keeping with the long tradition of excellent relations between the Greek and British Armed Forces and the close cooperation of the two countries within NATO. Greece's role is to guard the front line defense of the southeastern flank of Europe.
The General made a respectful point to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Syntagma Square, Athens paying tribute to the brave Greek men and women who lost their lives in action. He later had meetings at the Defence Ministry and the Hellenic National Defence General Staff.
The visit to Greece of the British armed forces chief is just weeks ahead of the upcoming major NATO gathering of military chiefs that takes place in Cardiff on September 4th and 5th. This will be the largest gathering of international leaders ever to take place in Britain and a feather in Wales' cap. (click below for full story)
President Obama, Chancellor Merkel, President Hollande are expected to attend along with leaders and senior ministers from around 60 other countries, including Greek Prime Minister, Antonio Samaras.
British Prime Minister, David Cameron said of the Welsh Summit: "It’s a great moment for Wales to advertise its modern and economically brilliant face to the world …. so I think it’s a very good moment for Wales to put its best foot forward."
Mr Cameron added: "We had the G8 in Northern Ireland, we had the Olympics in London, we’ve got the Commonwealth Games in Scotland - it is Wales’ turn for one of these big events, a great showcase for Wales and a great opportunity and I’m really pleased that we are going to be doing that."
The United Kingdom wants the Cardiff Summit to ensure that NATO continues to be at the forefront of building stability in an unpredictable world.