On Tuesday, the Governor General of Australia, David Hurley, visited Greece where he met with the Greek Prime Minister Kyriacos Mitsotakis and the Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou, following an invitation made by the latter.
They reportedly discussed the strong bilateral relationship between Greece and Australia, matters of diplomatic importance on the global stage, and the vibrancy of the sizeable Greek diaspora in Australia.
There are further plans for Hurley to be accompanied to the island of Lemnos by Sakellaropoulou where the Australian governor general will have an opportunity to pay his respects to the soldiers who participated in the Gallipoli campaign.
The Australian Governor General visits Greece
The official visit by the Australian governor general to Greece was made possible by the invitation of the Greek president. Hurley was already scheduled to make the long trip from Australia to Europe for King Charles III’s coronation, so the visit to Greece provided a further opportunity to benefit from the journey.
According to Arthur Spyrou, the Australian ambassador to Greece, the Greek prime minister and Australian governor general discussed the “cordial friendship, shared history & expanding ties, including strategic alignment & trade relations” between Greece and Australia.
Εξαιρετική συζήτηση σε αδελφικό κλίμα! Ο 🇦🇺 Γενικός Κυβερνήτης D. Hurley & ο 🇬🇷 Πρωθυπουργός Κ. Μητσοτάκης αναφέρθηκαν στην εγκάρδια 🇦🇺🇬🇷 φιλία, την κοινή μας ιστορία & τους διευρυνόμενους δεσμούς μας, συμπ. της ταύτισης στη στρατηγική οπτική & των εμπορικών σχέσεων. @kmitsotakis pic.twitter.com/NTy9tgqtmQ
— Arthur Spyrou (@AusAmbAthens) May 2, 2023
David Hurley also spoke at length with Katerina Sakellaropoulou. After their meeting, the pair were keen to express that Greece and Australia were eager to build further on the strong foundation of bilateral relations that exist between the two countries.
Sakellaropoulou described democracy, freedom, and international law – with a particular emphasis on the law of the sea – as “the foundation on which our relations are based”.
Hurley concurred, saying “There are human bonds that unite us but there is also a deep respect for democracy and the rule of law and of the entire legislative system that is based on these principles.”
The Governor-General of 🇦🇺 David Hurley & Mrs Hurley expressed their gratitude to President Sakellaropoulou for her 'philoxenia' & acknowledged the great contributions of Australia's 🇬🇷 community to our nation's prosperity & vibrant multiculturalism@PresidencyGR @EmbassyOfGreece pic.twitter.com/cfDEkpY4IS
— Arthur Spyrou (@AusAmbAthens) May 2, 2023
Sakellaropoulou and Hurley also used the time to discuss a number of pressing international issues. They noted that Greece and Australia share a common approach to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Sakellaropoulou also voiced her enthusiasm on Twitter, saying “I was delighted to welcome Governor General 🇦🇺David Hurley. The bonds of friendship between Greece and Australia are strengthened by the dynamic presence of our compatriots.
“I am sure that today’s visit will contribute to the strengthening of bilateral relations in all areas,” added the Greek president.
Υποδέχθηκα με χαρά τον Γενικό Κυβερνήτη της 🇦🇺 David Hurley. Οι δεσμοί φιλίας Ελλάδας – Αυστραλίας ισχυροποιούνται από τη δυναμική παρουσία της ομογένειάς μας. Είμαι βέβαιη ότι η σημερινή επίσκεψη θα συμβάλει στην ενίσχυση των διμερών σχέσεων σε όλους τους τομείς. pic.twitter.com/i4XavWEDNr
— President GR (@PresidencyGR) May 2, 2023
Gallipoli commemoration on Lemnos
On Wednesday, the Australian governor general will visit the island of Lemnos with the Greek president where they will pay their respects to the ANZAC soldiers who participated in the Gallipoli Campaign.
It was recently announced that Greece and Australia are creating a Remembrance Trail on the Aegean island of Lemnos in honor of the Australian troops killed in the First World War.
The Australian Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Matt Keogh has confirmed a pledge announced last year by former PM Scott Morrison of a A$4.9 million ($3.28 million) commitment towards the Lemnos Remembrance Trail.
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