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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-11-28

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM Karamanlis addresses Euro-Med summit

  • [01] PM Karamanlis addresses Euro-Med summit

    Euro-Mediterranean cooperation is the institutional framework for the European Union's relations with the Mediterranean countries, aiming at closer cooperation in the political, economic, social and cultural sector, Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis said on Monday, addressing the Euro-Med summit in Barcelona, which discussed immigration, and education and culture.

    Karamanlis said the summit, which opened on Sunday, marked the 10th anniversary of the inauguration of the Euro-Mediterranean cooperation initiative, which he said was of exceptional importance to Greece which, being a Mediterranean country itself, was directly affected by developments in the area.

    Consequently, he continued, Greece was particularly interested in peace, stability and combating terrorism in the region, as well as in the future opportunities arising from the region's prospects for growth and prosperity.

    "We are convinced that the EU has a catalytic role in the future of the wider Mediterranean, and are prepared to contribute actively in that direction," he said.

    He said that the summit, in its two days of talks, dealt with the priorities on the basis of the developments and occurrences in the 10 years that have passed since the adoption of the Barcelona declaration, while the common conviction was also stressed that many more steps needed to be taken in the direction of reforms at all levels.

    Karamanlis said talks also focused on the major problem of illegal immigration, as the attending leaders agreed on the need to jointly undertake a serious effort to tackle the issue.

    Regarding the economic front, he said leaders reaffirmed that the creation of a Free Trade Zone by 2010, which would function beneficially for all, was a priority and joint aspiration.

    Emphasis was further placed on the issue of education and culture, Karamanlis said, noting the importance of education to the region's economic and social development but also for the future of all the young people in the wider Mediterranean region, and also the importance of culture given that it was perhaps the most promising means of rapprochement and mutual understanding among different peoples, nations and religions.

    On the sidelines of the summit, Karamanlis had bilateral talks, covering mainly social issues, with new German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and a discussion on fiscal matters with Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates, and shook hands with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.


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