Australia’s Ambassador to Greece, Arthur Spyrou, met with political leaders in the South Aegean during an excursion to Rhodes yesterday, discussing potential ways to strengthen community ties between Rhodes and Australia.
As part of the Ambassador’s tour in Rhodes, Spyrou met with the Governor of the South Aegean Region, George Hatzimarkos, as well as the Mayor of Rhodes, Andonis Cambourakis.
Discussions with the Governor focused on the region’s strong war and community links with Australia and the potential commercial opportunities that can arise from an EU-Australia Free Trade Agreement.
The Governor thanked Spyrou for his interest in the South Aegean islands and said he was proud that an expatriate represents Greece in Australia.
“We are proud that an expatriate now represents a foreign country in our homeland,” Hatzimarkos said.
“For us Greeks, the Greek community is a great national asset, with invaluable contribution from those who, serving in positions of responsibility, do not forget their roots. In a period that tests the global community, but also with the historical challenges we face in the “neighbourhood”, it is important for us islanders to feel that there is another Greece that is firmly by our side.
“The Greeks of Australia, at every opportunity show that they always hold for our country, a place in their hearts.”
The Australian Ambassador to Greece also met with Mayor of Rhodes, Andonis Cambourakis, to discuss the island’s wartime connections with Australia, the vibrant Greece-Australia community with links to Rhodes, and opportunities to strengthen trade relations between the two countries.
Spyrou, during his expedition to Rhodes, stopped by the the Commonwealth War Graves Commission War Cemetery in Rhodes to pay respect and honour the ANZACS who served and lost their lives on Rhodes and other islands during operations in the Aegean in WWII.