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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-11-28

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Bakoyannis sees 'real possibility' for Mideast
  • [02] Journalists strike over planned fund merger

  • [01] Bakoyannis sees 'real possibility' for Mideast

    During her address at the Annapolis Middle East peace conference on Tuesday, Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis said that the current effort underway for the Middle East crisis gave her a sense that a solution was a "real possibility".

    "The level of consensus and the political capital created are unprecedented. The energy, drive and commitment of [U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza] Rice and her team, along with the pragmatic, constructive and responsible approach of [Israeli Prime Minister Ehud] Olmert and [Palestinian President Mahmoud] Abbas; and the positive engagement of our Arab friends have made this meeting possible," she said.

    Bakoyannis added, however, that actually following through to bring peace to the holy land required matching "our words with our deeds". She stressed the need for "concrete, meaningful and visible steps" on both sides, and to maintain momentum with realistic targets, while noting that the "test will come on the day after".

    "In this respect, a robust follow-up will be extremely important and the involvement of the international community, particularly of the European Union, catalytic," she emphasised, while highlighting the upcoming Paris Donors' Conference.

    The Greek foreign minister also called for progress on the ground and a normalisation of the everyday lives of ordinary Palestinians, saying that this would strike a blow against the "forces of radicalisation and extremism that feed on fear and insecurity".

    Noting the strong, historic bonds of friendship and understanding between Greece and the peoples of the region, she said Greece was actively engaged in the quest for a comprehensive peace and "more than ready to do its part".

    She also announced that Greece was launching a "Next Generation Initiative" hosting civil society meetings in Greece with the explicit goal of boosting the Middle East peace process.

    According to Bakoyannis, the Annapolis conference was "a precious window of opportunity" in which to address the legitimate concerns and aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians in a systematic and timely manner.

    "The parties concerned should not be daunted by the challenge. Political realities being what they are, we must counter the partisan rhetoric of fear with the politics of hope. It is up to us - around this table - to make this moment a significant step towards a lasting, comprehensive and just peace," she concluded.

    [02] Journalists strike over planned fund merger

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