State President Nguyen Minh Triet presented the Friendship Order and Vietnamese nationality to Kostas Sarantidis, a Greek citizen, in Hanoi on Jan. 7.

Sarantidis, who has Vietnamese name as Nguyen Van Lap and is a war veteran of the Vietnamese People’s Army Regiment 803 Inter-Zone 5, received the distinction in recognition of his great contributions during his services in the Vietnamese People’s Army and other fields from 1946-1965 and to boosting friendship between Vietnam and Greece.

President Triet attributed Vietnam ’s achievements in national construction and development partly to devotion by people like Sarantidis. He was a comrade of the Vietnamese nation who supported the just cause and made contributions to the construction of the country, the President said.

Returning to Greece in late 1965, Sarantidis organised many activities supporting Vietnam , acting as a bridge linking the two countries.

At the presentation ceremony, Sarantidis (Nguyen Van Lap) expressed his thanks to the Communist Party of Vietnam and the Vietnamese People’s Army for training him during 13 years of fighting and six years in other fields.

“Today is another happy day in my life of attaching to Vietnam after my first opportunity of joining the Vietnamese People’s Army in June, 1946. Receiving Vietnamese nationality was a great honour and my aspiration of becoming a Vietnamese citizen was reached,” Sarantidis said./.