Athens, Greece–(ENEWSPF)–16 February 2012. The NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen travelled to Athens on 15 February 2012 and met with President Karolos Papoulias and with Prime Minister Lucas Papademos. He also met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Stavros Dimas and Minister of Defence Dimitris Avramopoulos.
Celebrating the 60th anniversary of the accession of Greece to NATO, the Secretary General hailed the enduring Greek contribution to trans-atlantic security. “This date is milestone for our entire Alliance because Greece is one of our longest-standing Allies and one of the pillars of our collective security. The contribution of Greece to NATO has made us stronger and our Allied solidarity makes Greece stronger”, the Secretary General said, stressing that “NATO is a family of nations where we help each other and make each other stronger.”
The Secretary General discussed with his counterparts preparations for the Chicago Summit planned for May of this year. “In Chicago we will l have to shape an Alliance which is capable of overcoming the economic crisis of today, while still guaranteeing security for tomorrow”, the Secretary General said. “For NATO, the way forward is Smart Defence. The smarter way is to do it together, and I got confirmation that Greece is prepared to engage in such multinational cooperation.”
The Secretary General also addressed a conference organised by the Greek think-tank Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP).