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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-06-27

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 to address OSCE meeting on Corfu
  • [02] Papandreou holds high-level talks in Serbia

  • [01] PM Karamanlis to address OSCE meeting on Corfu

    Prime minister Costas Karamanlis will deliver a greeting on Sunday to an informal meeting of the foreign ministers of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on the Greek island of Corfu.

    The meeting is chaired by OSCE Chairperson-in-Office (CiO) and Greek foreign ministry Dora Bakoyannis, as Greece holds the annual OSCE chairmanship for 2009. Karamanlis is due to arrive on Corfu on Saturday night.

    Two high-level meetings are being held on the Ionian island of Corfu on Saturday and Sunday with the participation of more than 50 foreign ministers, focusing on European security and the consolidation of trust between the East and the West.

    The NATO-Russia Council (NRC) is convening on Saturday for the first time after the conflict in Georgia, while the OSCE informal ministerial meeting will take place on Sunday with the participation of all 56 member-states, and chaired by Bakoyannis.

    The bilateral agreements scheduled to be signed between the US and Greece are expected to clear the way for Greeceās participation in the US visa waiver program and to establish closer cooperation in combating terrorism and organised crime.

    As regards the major issue of European security, the Greek side seeks the launch of a new dialogue within the framework of which will be defined in the OSCE ministerial meeting in December that will mark the end of the Greek OSCE Chairmanship.

    [02] Papandreou holds high-level talks in Serbia

    Belgrade (ANA-MPA/V. Mourtis) -- Athens-Belgrade relations, Serbia's European course and the Serbian Socialist Party's accession to the Socialist International (SI) were the main topics on the agenda of Greek main opposition PASOK leader and SI president George Papandreou's talks in Belgrade on Saturday with Serbian president Boris Tadic and interior minister and Serbian government vice president Ivica Dacic.

    Papandreou described the cooperation between Greece and Serbia as being of strategic importance, while the Serb officials noted Papandreou's efforts for normalisation of the situation in Serbia with the formulation of its first democratic government, as well as his support for their country's European course.

    Tadic pointed out that the PASOK leader had been the first politician to visit Serbia after the democratic change, and he also supported the country's efforts to come closer to the European Union.

    He characterised as a "very important fact" the very good relations between Greece and Serbia, since they were in the same geographical region of Europe, have common targets and face common challenges. Tadic further stressed that Serbia's strategic goal was accession to the EU, adding that Papandreou has always been willing and available to help in that effort.

    Papandreou, in turn, noted the close ties of friendship and the cooperation between the sides in the effort for the democratisation and development of Serbia. This cooperation was of very great importance for Greece and also for the Balkans, he said, since the two countries could play an important role in the region. He further noted that the socialist political forces of the Balkans need to forge their own roadmap out of the impasses of the crisis.

    The PASOK leader also said that very significant steps have been made in Serbia under the new government, adding that the EU does not have the luxury, or the right, to keep Serbia outside the European family. Serbia deserved accession and has proven it, Papandreou said, stressing that he supports today, and in the future, as the Greek government, will continue to back Serbia's accession course.

    During Papandreou's meeting with Dacic, discussions focused on bilateral Greece-Serbia relations and also the issue of accession Serbian Socialist Party, which is headed by Dacic, to the Socialist International. A first discussion on this issue will take place within the SI over the next few days when the SI Council meets in Montenegro under Papandreou's chairmanship.

    Papandreou also expressed gladness that there is finally stability in Serbia, and stressed the importance of Serbia having a presence in the EU.


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