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Defence Secretary attends 75th Anniversary commemorations for the Battle of Crete

While in Crete for the event Michael Fallon also underlines the importance of defence relations with Greece in meetings with his Greek counterpart.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon is visiting Greece to attend the 75th Anniversary commemorations for the Battle of Crete and hold talks with the Greek Defence Minister Panos Kammenos.

As part of the commemorations to honour those who laid down their lives in the battle, Mr Fallon and Mr Kammenos will lay wreaths at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Syntagna square, Athens, and at Keriti Memorial in Alikianos, Crete.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon laying a wreath as part of the 75th Anniversary commemorations for the Battle of Crete. Greek MOD Copyright.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon laying a wreath as part of the 75th Anniversary commemorations for the Battle of Crete. Greek MOD Copyright.

The Defence Secretary will also visit Souda Bay Naval Base where he will view the facilities used by the UK. Later in the evening he will attend a Commonwealth Remembrance Ceremony at the cemetery near the base and unveil a Commonwealth War Graves Commission information plaque.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

It is an honour to be in Greece to pay my respects to those civilians and troops who laid down their lives in the Battle of Crete. Unveiling a Commonwealth War Graves Commission plaque in the cemetery at Souda leaves a permanent mark of our remembrance.

75 years on, the British and Greek defence relations are even stronger and the importance of our relationship cannot be underestimated.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon with Greek Defence Minister Panos Kammenos. Greek MOD Copyright.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon with Greek Defence Minister Panos Kammenos. Greek MOD Copyright.

The Souda Bay Naval Base regularly provides essential assistance to Royal Navy ships operating in the Mediterranean or passing through on route to other locations around the world. The latest example is the key role the port is playing in ensuring the support of NATO activity to counter illegal people trafficking and migration in the Aegean Sea.

Aside from maritime cooperation, this spring the Red Arrows were hosted in Greece for fair weather pre-display season training and certification. In further deepening of defence relations we will also be placing a British officer on the staff of NATO Rapid Deployment Corps Greece next year.