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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-03-06

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Bakoyannis at NATO conf'
  • [02] Athens Stock Exchange : Decline

  • [01] Bakoyannis at NATO conf'

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/V. Demiris) - NATO foreign ministers held an informal conference here on Thursday, focusing on the "Declaration on Allied Security", that will constitute the political basis for revising and shaping NATO's next strategic doctrine, relations between the Alliance and Russia and developments in Afghanistan.

    Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis said in a statement that Thursday's extraordinary meeting of the ministers was in essence a conference in preparation for the Alliance's anniversary summit to be held in early April in an area, France and Germany (Strasbourg and Kehl), of special political and historical significance.

    According to the minister, special emphasis was placed during the discussions on preparing the Declaration on Allied Security. The Secretary General presented a draft on the Declaration and initial observations and remarks were made on the text. Its finalised form, following processing at Permanent Representatives level, is expected to be adopted at the summit.

    Bakoyannis said that Greece believes that the starting point and foundation stone for these texts must be, apart from common interests, the Alliance's fundamental principles and values, such as the principle of solidarity between member-states.

    "We also place special weight on developing an equal relation, close and productive cooperation between NATO and the European Union, that will be based on the principle of respect for the institutional autonomy of the two organisations," she said.

    On the question of relations between NATO and Russia, Bakoyannis stressed that "they must be of a sincere and substantive dialogue", as well as of "cooperation on handling common challenges such as, for example, international terrorism, the proliferation of nuclear weapons and of weapons of mass destruction and the situation in Afghanistan."

    In her view, the full utilisation of the institutional framework of the NATO-Russia Council is necessary and useful. In parallel, the foreign ministers accepted the activation, following the NATO summit, of the Council at ministerial level.

    A review and assesment of the situation in Afghanistan was also made during Thursday's conference, as well as of the Alliance's contribution to the international community's efforts to achieve the stabilisation, reconstruction and democratisation of the country, particularly in light of the upcoming presidential elections.

    "Greece believes that efforts made so far by the international community have led to the conclusion that the solution to the issue of the stability of this country and of the wider region cannot and must not be of an exclusive military nature," the Greek foreign minister said, pointing out that Afghanistan needs a multilevel and spherical approach and clear priorities focusing on a series of issues, such as economic and social development and the combatting of corruption and of the drugs economy.

    "In this framework, the development of the Alliance's relations with Islamabad is important," she said.

    Moreover, an assessment and review of the Alliance's presence, with the NATO KFOR force, in Kosovo was also made.

    The minister further underlined that Thursday's meeting, combined with the United States-European Union summit, that is being scheduled immediately after the NATO summit, is expected to provide new characteristics for the strategic relation between Europe and the United States.

    "To provide new characteristics for the transatlantic relation, that remains of fundamental significance for our common future, for internationmal stability and peace," Bakoyannis said.

    [02] Athens Stock Exchange : Decline

    Equity prices were declining on Friday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index down 1.24 percent, standing at 1,430.06 points at 12:25 p.m., and turnover at 26.2 million euros.

    Individual sector indices were moving downward , with the biggest gains in Mass Media, up 1.79 percent; Insurance, up 0.60 percent; and Industrial Products, up 0.12 percent.

    The biggest losses were in Health, down 2.46 percent; Chemicals, down 2.19 percent; and Construction, down 1.70 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was down 1.47 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was down 0.87 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was up 0.45 percent.

    Of the stocks moved, 49 were up, 89 were down, and 47 were unchanged.

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