For the first time since the end of the Cyprus crisis, ships of the British Mediterranean Fleet sailed into Phaleron Bay, near Athens, Greece, July 16 for an eight-day courtesy visit.
GV. Ships arrive Phaleron Bay
SV. Bingley on quay, salutes
LV. Bingley reviews guard of honour
SV. Bingley shakes hands with Tsatsos
SCU. Two Admirals sit down
SV. Two Admirals chatting
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Background: For the first time since the end of the Cyprus crisis, ships of the British Mediterranean Fleet sailed into Phaleron Bay, near Athens, Greece, July 16 for an eight-day courtesy visit.
On landing, Admiral Sir Alexander Bingley, Commander -in Chief of the Mediterranean Fleet, reviewed a guard of honour, Officers and men were warmly greeted by Greek naval officials. Afterwards, Admiral Bingley left by car for Athens where he met the chief of the Greek Naval General Staff, Rear-Admiral Constantine Tsatsos. Admiral Bingley was discussing the present situation in the East Mediterranean and further co-operation of the Greek and British Navies.
The British squadron which sailed from Turkey after a similar visit, includes the Flagship Destroyer Surprise, the 9,100-ton Cruiser H.M.S. Birmingham, Destroyers Daring, Delight, Battleaxe, Saintes, Armada, Camperdown and auxiliary ships.
The visit of the squadron marks the re-establishment of Anglo-Greek relations in both political and military fields since the settlement of the Cyprus dispute.
The Surprise, with Admiral Bingley on board, leaves Athens July 20 to call at Itea and Ithaca via the Corinth Canal before going on to Corfu from July 22-24. Ships at Athens remain there until July 18 except for the Birmingham, Delight and Battleaxe which remain until July 21. The Aegean islands of Syra and Paros are being visited by frigates Blackpool and Ulysses while coastal minesweepers go to other Greek ports.
While the Mediterranean Fleet ships are in Greece, the training ship Ierax of the Royal Hellenic Navy pays an informal visit to Portsmouth from July 20-24.