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Sunday 1 April 2012
SC 120 Field Study I: European Security Perspectives & the MD - Athens
The last stop for Senior Course 120 and the NATO Defense College delegation on its European Security Perspectives and MD Field Study was at the Greek General Staff in Athens.
Major General Georgios Spyropoulos, the Commandant of the Hellenic National Defence College and an Ancien of Course 113, opened the proceedings by warmly welcoming Lieutenant General Arne Bård Dalhaug, the NDC Commandant, and the Course Members to Greece and to Athens.
Brigadier General Dimotrikos Zervakis, the Head of the Defence Policy Directorate, Hellenic National Defense General Staff gave an informative overview of the Hellenic defence and security policy and underlined the key role played by NATO in helping Greece set up its Armed Forces. He also described the operations in which the Hellenic Armed Forces are currently involved. He concluded by discussing the importance of cooperation with international organizations in order to secure and maintain stability in the region and beyond.
Ambassador Michael B. Christides, the Director General for International Organizations, International Security and Cooperation at the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs, commenced his outstanding presentation with a detailed historical overview of Greek foreign policy, starting from the end of World War II. He highlighted the importance for Greece of strengthening relations and implementing bilateral agreements with Turkey and discussed the still open dispute over the name of FYROM and associated issues very frankly.
At the memorable reception generously hosted by the Chief of the Defence Staff at the Officers’ Club in Athens, the Course Members had the opportunity to meet and talk to the Greek Chief of Defence Staff and the Greek Anciens, who, when the present Course Members join their ranks, will number 300.
Senior Course 120 is now returning to Rome where the Academic Programme will continue.