UK's Prince Charles, his wife start Greece visit

Source: Xinhua| 2018-05-09 23:47:45|Editor: ZD
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Britain's Prince Charles (R) shakes hands with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras prior their meeting at the prime minister's office, in Athens, Greece, on May 9, 2018. Britain's Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall are on an official visit of three days in Greece. (Xinhua/Marios Lolos) 

by Maria Spiliopoulou

ATHENS, May 9 (Xinhua) -- British hier apparent Charles, Prince of Wales, and his wife Duchess Camilla of Cornwall arrived here on Wednesday on a three-day official visit to Greece, the birthplace of Prince Charles' father.

Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos welcomed the royal couple in what he called "a historic visit": the first official visit to Greece by an heir to the British throne.

In a live broadcast on national broadcaster ERT, the Greek president underlined the close friendship and cooperation linking the two countries from the establishment of the Greek state in the early 19th century.

Prince Charles has visited Greece privately several times in the past, as his father Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was born on Corfu island.

"We have shared an awful lot together for many many years... and I hope and pray that we should go on sharing so much together between our two countries in the future," Prince Charles said.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on camera before a separate meeting with the British heir: "I think that your visit can be a landmark in our bilateral relations especially now that our countries are facing crucial turning points in their history... We have to enhance more our cooperation."

The Greek premier also announced during the statement, which was also broadcast on ERT, that he had accepted an invitation by his British counterpart to visit London next month.

On Thursday, Prince Charles is scheduled to visit an Allied Forces cemetery in Athens and a British NATO warship, as well as a reconstruction of an ancient Athenian trireme docked nearby. On Friday, the royal couple will visit archaeological sites and a refugee community on Crete island.

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