Gratitude for Chinese navy's rescue in Somali areas: Greek shipowner

19:07, August 12, 2010      

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A Greek shipowner, on board a visiting Chinese warship Wednesday, expressed gratitude to the Chinese navy for successfullly rescuing his ship, "Apollo", off the coast of Somalia.

Nicolaos Frango, owner of the Good Faith Company, visited two Chinese warships, decorated with big red Chinese lanterns and an auspicious red Chinese knot, for a reception by Commander Zhang Wendan.

Frango, 85, who first visited China in the 1960s, said: "I feel very familiar on Chinese naval ships. It is as if I am on my own vessels and saying hello to my crew."

"I would like to express our sincere thanks to the Chinese navy, Chinese transportation department and the Chinese embassy."

His daughter, Aggeliki, said, "We got in contact with the Chinese navy via the Chinese embassy. The rescue was very quick, within half an hour. The Chinese navy was very efficient and professional."

The Chinese navy escort flotilla has successfully escorted 20 Greek ships in the past two years and rescued the "Apollo" on February 27 this year.

Greek Vice Admiral of Navy Dimitrios Elefsiniotis said, "It is my first time on board Chinese navy ships and I feel really impressed. I have talked with Rear Admiral Zhang on the work in Somalia against the piracy."

Commander Zhang said that, during the past few days, Chinese and Greek naval soldiers had visited each other's warships and exchanged experiences in escorting ships in pirate-infested waters.

He said: "The exchange is of great importance. We will learn from each other and promote the relationship between the two navies as well as the two countries."

Source: Xinhua


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