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Athens News Agency: News in English, 03-05-03

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Informal EU Council of Foreign Ministers examines Middle East and Iraq

  • [01] Informal EU Council of Foreign Ministers examines Middle East and Iraq

    02/05/2003 23:32:32

    The European Union's informal two-day Council of Foreign Ministers got underway on the island of Rhodes on Friday, focusing primarily on the Middle East issue and the reconstruction of Iraq.

    In a press conference jointly addressed by Foreign Minister and Council of Foreign Ministers President George Papandreou, European Union High Commissioner for Common Foreign and Defence Policy Javier Solana and Foreign Policy Commissioner Chris Patten, the first meeting between the 25 foreign ministers was hailed and the Council's informal nature was stressed that does not allow for official decisions.

    On the question of Iraq's reconstruction process, Papandreou spoke of two common positions in the EU's ranks concerning the next steps to be taken and the need for the UN to issue a mandate on the legalisation of the transitional status in Baghdad.

    ''We gave Mr. Patten the green light to prepare the humanitarian aid issues and the role of the European Union in the effort for the reconstruction of Iraq,'' Papandreou said.

    The foreign minister added that on the part of the ''25'' there is the intention of their charge d'affaires' returning to Baghdad, while Solana has undertaken the processing and preparation of proposals on shaping European strategy in the region to enable them to be presented at the European summit in Thessaloniki.


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