The Governor-General of Australia, David Hurley, has held numerous high level meetings on the first day of his historic visit to Greece.
Mr Hurley began his day by laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Syntagma Square in Athens, Greece to honour those who fell fighting for freedom in Greece.
The Governor-General later met with Greece’s President Katerina Sakellaropoulou. In their meeting, the two leaders praised the vibrant Greek Australian diaspora and discussed the shared values and strong historical links between Australia and Greece.
“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,” Sakellaropoulou said on Twitter.
“I am sure that today’s visit will contribute to the strengthening of bilateral relations in all areas.”
At a luncheon held at the Presidential Mansion in honour of Mr Hurley, Sakellaropoulou stressed that the last time an Australian Governor-General came to Greece was in 2000, when Sir William Deane was received by then-Greek President Kostis Stefanopoulos.
Mr Hurley is the first Australian state leader to visit Greece in over 25 years.
During his visit, the Governor-General also met with Greece’s Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, at Maximos Mansion, and Shadow Foreign Minister George Katrougalos.
According to a press release from the PM’s office, Mitsotakis and Mr Hurley confirmed the excellent level of bilateral relations between Greece and Australia. Particular emphasis was placed on the role of the diaspora as a bridge of friendship between the two peoples.
On Wednesday, Sakellaropoulou and Mr Hurley will visit the Greek island of Lemnos, where the Australian Government is funding the Lemnos Remembrance Trail to honour the service of the ANZACs and other personnel involved in the Gallipoli campaign during WWI.
Mr Hurley departed Australia for Greece on April 30 and will attend the Coronation of King Charles in the United Kingdom before returning to Australia on May 10.