NATO Secretary General thanks Greece for Allied contributions
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg thanked Greece for its unwavering support to the Alliance during a visit to Athens on Thursday (30 October 2014). “We thank you for all the contributions you make to our shared security,” the Secretary General said. “This commitment has been sustained despite difficult times. Throughout, Greece has remained an active and effective member of our Alliance and for over 60 years, NATO has been committed to keeping Greece safe.”
Security challenges in Eastern Europe and in North Africa and the Middle East are top of the agenda the Secretary General's talks with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos. “We face many challenges in many ways and from many directions. This is why we must keep NATO strong. We must work with our partners to bring more stability to our neighbourhood. And we must keep the bond between Europe and North America rock solid,” the Secretary General said.
Turning to the crisis in Ukraine, the Secretary General called on Russia to end its destabilising actions, withdraw its forces, and make genuine efforts to ensure the ceasefire is respected. He said the planned holding of so-called elections by armed separatists in Eastern Ukraine “would undermine the Minsk agreements and would not contribute to a peaceful solution.”
Together with Greek Defence Minister Dimitrios Avramopoulos, the Secretary General also visited the Greek Frigate HNS Salamis to observe a regular joint exercise which demonstrated maritime and rapid reaction capabilities that Greece has deployed in missions like the NATO counter-terrorism Active Endeavour operation in the Mediterranean.