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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-04-22

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greek presidency of BSEC achieves key goal with "Komotini Agreement"
  • [02] Visiting Russian official reiterates Moscow's support for efforts to solve Cyprus issue
  • [03] President's message for World Book Day: 'A book is still the only path to real thought'
  • [04] European Network and Information Security Agency establishes headquarters in Crete

  • [01] Greek presidency of BSEC achieves key goal with "Komotini Agreement"

    The Greek presidency of the Organisation of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) will conclude with the signing of the Komotini Agreement on Saturday, achieving the key goal defined from the outset: bringing the countries of the Black Sea region and southeast Europe closer together with the EU.

    "It essentially lays the foundations for the future cooperation among the Organisation's member-states," Deputy Foreign Minister Evripidis Stylianidis said.

    The agreement ratifies the decisions taken during the past six months and sets out the guidelines pertaining to the BSEC's upgrade, the strengthening of its international role as well as tightening relations - on all levels - among its members.

    Specifically, decisions relate to cooperation in the energy, transport, justice, business and tourism sectors.

    The foreign ministers of the BSEC member-states negotiated the text of the agreement during their meeting in Komotini.

    "Greece, the only EU, NATO and BSEC member in the broader region, is concluding its presidency successfully with the Komotini Agreement and by having laid the foundations for the reinforcement of peace, stability and cooperation in the region of the Black Sea and Southeast Europe," Stylianidis said.

    [02] Visiting Russian official reiterates Moscow's support for efforts to solve Cyprus issue

    Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Chizhov on Friday said that Moscow continued to support the process for finding a viable and just solution to the Cyprus problem based on the Annan Plan and United Nations resolutions, during a meeting with his Greek counterpart Yiannis Valynakis in Athens.

    Chizhov said that the new leader of the Turkish-Cypriot community on the island was in favour of a solution. At the same time, he stressed that any solution would have to be agreed voluntarily by both sides and could not be imposed on them, since only then would it be viable.

    The Greek minister - in response to a question on whether the change of Turkish-Cypriot leadership gave rise to hope for the start of negotiations - said that "every remove of Turkish-Cypriots from the intransigency of the past is considered positive".

    Concerning the Aegean and relations between Greece and Turkey, Chizhov said that Russia was closely following developments and always supported the need to develop ties of good neighbourliness, while hailing the progress that had been made.

    "Promoting ties of cooperation between Greece and Turkey will contribute to deepening a climate of cooperation in the surrounding region but also in Europe," he stressed.

    He also noted that Russia will accept any solution agreed by Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) concerning the latter's name, and expressed Moscow's support for the process at the UN over the 'name issue'.

    A key issue discussed by the two men on Friday was the status of Kosovo, in view of a report on the province to be presented to the Security Council by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

    Chizhov, who was recently in the area, stressed that the situation in Kosovo remained tense and that any progress achieved chiefly concerned the Albanian section of the population.

    "The Serbs and other minorities continue to feel insecure," he said, noting that arrangements had to be made for the return of refugees and restoration of their rights. He stressed that a solution had to come from the UN, and that both Belgrade and Kosovo's Serbs should contribute.

    Chizhov's meeting with Valynakis also covered issues of bilateral interest, in the framework of an agreement to upgrade Greek-Russian ties decided when Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis visited Moscow. Topics included cooperation in trade, energy and tourism, relations between Russia and the EU and the current system for visas.

    "We ascertained the excellent relations of the two countries and the firm base of our cooperation," Valynakis told reporters.

    [03] President's message for World Book Day: 'A book is still the only path to real thought'

    In his message for World Book Day 2005 on Friday, President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias said that books were still the only path to real thought and that statistics reflecting a decline of readership in favour of new, image-based techologies were therefore "disappointing".

    "Books have from the beginning been a beacon on the road to knowledge, the seed but also the fruit of a fertile exchange of ideas," he said, describing books as "friends in loneliness" and "companions on the journey to self-knowledge".

    "Today, on World Book Day, we have a good opportunity to remember how many times we closed a book feeling that we had just discovered a new world, travelled to another state, identified with the passions of fictional heroes, come into conflict with ourselves, discovered ourselves and lived our own truth."

    [04] European Network and Information Security Agency establishes headquarters in Crete

    The European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) is officially establishing its headquarters in Iraklio, Crete following the signing of a relevant agreement between the Greek government and the agency on Friday.

    According to Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, who was present for the signing, the government's main goal in e-government is to "shape a solid research and technological foundation on which the future course of the country can be based."

    Karamanlis mentioned some of the initiatives the government has taken in this direction: "Through EU programmes, we are supporting the development of broadband infrastructure in the regions, as well as increasing broadband penetration as the EU programme 'Information Society' call for; we are promoting major, institutional reforms on all levels of the educational system and throughout the country's research centres, aiming at transparency, meritocracy, excellence, rewarding performance, but also linking state services with performance and with the social benefits of research and technology," he said.

    The prime minister also said that the government is promoting programmes - existing and new ones - regarding networks and e-government.

    Furthermore, Greece is working closely with EU authorities on the issue of network and information security, he said.

    Karamanlis expressed his satisfaction that another European organisation had chosen Greece as its headquarters.

    "It is an agreement of particular importance for Greece, since the new Organisation will attract the attention of a significant segment of the international scientific community; especially, that of the technocrats and policymakers of network and information security. This is - and I want to mention this - a choice made by the EU while the previous government was in office and is being completed today, following many efforts we made," he said.

    The agreement was signed by Deputy Transport and Communications Minister Anastasios Neratzis and ENISA's Executive Director Andrea Pirotti.


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