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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-05-14

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM meets with outgoing NATO SecGen
  • [02] PASOK leader Papandreou in China

  • [01] PM meets with outgoing NATO SecGen

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis met Thursday in Athens with outgoing NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.

    Karamanlis pointed out that during the NATO SecGen's term the alliance was enlarged twice, while in the field of operations NATO was called to meet very demanding challenges mainly in Afghanistan and in the Balkans and more recently in Africa in the battle against sea piracy.

    ?The effort made to promote the Allianceās relations with Russia was also significant,? he underlined, adding that ?progress was made in its relations with Ukraine and Georgia as well as with the countries of the partnership for peace, the Mediterranean Dialogue and the Istanbul Initiative.?

    ?Notable progress was also made in the organizationās defence reform,? the PM said, stressing that ?we appreciate the special effort made by Mr. Scheffer aimed at boosting cooperation between NATO and other international organizations particularly, the United Nations and the European Union.?

    On his part, the NATO SecGen praised the cooperation he had with the prime minister and ministers of foreign affairs and defence, Dora Bakoyannis and Evangelos Meimarakis respectively.

    He stressed that ?Greeceās participation in NATOās operations and missions was and still is very important,? adding that ?we are on the eve of yet another historical period considering that a decision was made for a new military approach on behalf of the alliance.?

    ?I am certain that the country under your leadership, will participate in the efforts for the preparation of this new strategic perception in view of the next NATO Summit,? he said, addressing the prime minister.

    The NATO SecGen also referred to energy and internet security issues describing them as challenges with which the alliance is faced, as well as to the participation of Greek Navy frigates in the efforts to combat sea piracy. Commenting on his successor Anders Fogh Rasmussen, he stated that he is very competent.

    De Hoop Scheffer also met with Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis and National Defence Minister Evangelos Maimarakis.

    CAPTION: PM Karamanlis (R) and De Hoop Scheffer (L) at the Maximos Mansion on Thursday (Photo ANA-MPA)

    [02] PASOK leader Papandreou in China

    Main opposition PASOK party leader and Socialist International (SI) President George Papandreou, currently visiting Beijing to chair a meeting of the SI's Environment Committee being hosted by China, said that his contacts here on Thursday were important.

    Papandreou said that the contacts are important because China plays and will continue to play a decisive role in issues concerning mankind, adding that these issues are the international economic crisis and climatic changes combined with green development.

    He further said that China's positions on these issues are very important, both for the Socialist International and Greece and the Greek economy.

    PASOK's leader also said that, in the frameweork of the SI, he has taken two initiatives concerning "the shaping of a progressive political proposal regarding the international economic crisis, climatic changes and green development."

    Papandreou stressed that the aim and outcome of these initiatives is "the creation of a humane society".

    He participated in a working luncheon at noon (local time) given in his honour by the International Relations Minister of the Chinese Communist Party's Central Committee Wang Jiarui.

    Papandreou then visited places that are taking part in environmental protection programmes, such as the green building of the Chingua University and Beijing's Jinyu Group cement factory.

    At night (Beijing time), Papandreou met with China's alternate prime minister Li Keqiang.

    Talks he held with leading members of the Communist Party of the People's Republic of China focused on issues concerning the relation between the Chinese Communist Party and the SI, a relation that Papandreou described as partnership cooperation on strategic issues.

    He also discussed bilateral relations issues between the Chinese Communist Party and PASOK, as well as issues regarding bilateral relations between Greece and China.

    The Chinese Communist Party is not a member of the SI, but it has a close cooperation relation and it is active in the International's committees that deal with sustainable growth, the international economic crisis and international disarmament issues.

    China's officials are showing great interest in these issues and are placing special importance on renewable energy sources, while seeking their own important role both in relation to climatic changes and the environment and on their role in the global economy and the handling of the economic crisis.

    What interests the Chinese most is not so much economic resources, that as it appears they possess, but knowhow.

    The sessions of the SI's environment committee will begin on Friday, in the presence of the committee's coordinators former Swedish prime minister Goran Persson and former Chilean president Ricardo Lagos.

    Papandreou will be meeting the President of the Chinese People's Republic Hu Jintao in the afternoon.

    CAPTION: Papandreou (C) visiting the green building of the Chingua University in Beijing on Thursday. (Photo ANA-MPA)

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