Breedlove collects Thanksgiving award

General Philip Breedlove, NATO's top commander in Europe, received a prestigious state decoration Thursday from the hands of Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis.

In a ceremony at the House of Blackheads - which is housing the Presidential administration while Riga Castle is renovated - Breedlove received the honor, named the Order of Viesturs - for his "outstanding contribution to the defense of Latvia".

Speaking during the ceremony, Breedlove said: "I cannot express how honored I am to receive this award and how humbled."

As assembled Latvian and US military personnel looked on, he added:

"I'm doing my job and my job is to be a great partner to this great nation. The work that is being credited to me is the work of my staff... and so on their behalf I am pleased to receive this award."

Following the presentation, Breedlove was due to hold talks with President Raimonds Vejonis and enjoy Thanksgiving with US troops currently stationed in Latvia.

Earlier in the day Breedlove met Defense Minister Raimonds Bergmanis to discuss the "security situation in the world and the region, and were united in solidarity for Turkey," according t a press release from the Ministry.

Breedlove praised Latvian decision to increase its defense budget and a recent initiative which saw US MQ-1 Predator drones spending two weeks at the Lielvarde airbase for training.

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