Prince William, wife Kate bring gifts to UK forces in Cyprus

Britain's Prince William, right, and his wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, stand outside the mess hall at the Akrotiri Royal Air Force base, near the south coastal city of Limassol, Cyprus, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018. The RAF Akrotiri is the home of the Cyprus Operations Support Unit which supplies support to operations in the region to protect the UK's strategic interests. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, Pool)

RAF AKROTIRI, Cyprus (AP) — Prince William and his wife Kate brought Christmas gifts and holiday greetings Wednesday to British servicemen at the Royal Air Force Base Akrotiri in Cyprus.

The visit by William and the Duchess of Cambridge was designed to honor the estimated 11,000 British soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines deployed on foreign operations over the holidays.

After meeting servicemen in a hangar, William thanked Britain's Armed Forces for their sacrifices.

"We are in your debt and Catherine and I feel very lucky to be able to spend time with you today," he said.

Officials say British forces are involved in 30 operations in 35 countries.

On Tuesday, the royal couple also hosted a party on the grounds at London's Kensington Palace for military families.

The Akrotiri base plays an important role in Britain's military activities throughout the Middle East.

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