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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-09-26

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] U.S. ambassador speaks of strategic cooperation, increased investments and improvement of image of Greece and the U.S. among American and Greek public opinion

  • [01] U.S. ambassador speaks of strategic cooperation, increased investments and improvement of image of Greece and the U.S. among American and Greek public opinion

    U.S. Ambassador to Athens Charles Ries, speaking at the Woodrow Wilson Centre in Washington, referred to benefits emanating from the strategic relation between Greece and the United States and to the strengthening of trade cooperation between the two countries, since reforms being carried out in the Greek economy make it more attractive for investments.

    Ries praised Greece's position regarding Turkey's course towards the European Union and termed 2006 a "historic year" for the Balkans. The amabassador added that in the case of Greece and the U.S. strategic cooperation means that increased requirements now exist.

    Ries went on to underline the success in hosting the Olympic Games, stressing that Greece received an excellent "grade 10", apart from promoting a positive image of Greece abroad, strengthened the self-confidence of the Greeks and their ability to achieve great targets.

    He reiterated Washington's satisfaction over the arrest and conviction of "a considerable part" of the "N17" organisation and said Greece's role in the Security Council is very constructive and underlined the contribution of the Greek EU presidency in the spring of 2003 when relations between the U.S. and the European Union were going through a crisis.

    Referring to Iraq, he said that despite the universal opposition of the Greek people to the war, Greece was the first country to contribute financially, while providing facilities for the transfer of weaponry. He also stressed the presence and operation of a Greek medical unit in Afghanistan.

    The U.S. ambassador further spoke of the positive and effective stance adopted by Greek diplomacy in the handling of the issue of the beginning of accession negotiations between the EU and Turkey since, as he said, Athens has reached, the correct in Washington's view, conclusion that the European course of Ankara strengthens prospects of a solution to the issue of Cyprus.

    The ambassador said that Washington was pleased to hear the announcement by Public Order Minister George Voulgarakis on the creation of a Training Centre for security issues, through which Greece will convey the great experience it obtained during preparations to host the Olympic Games. He also stressed the importance of Greece's participation in control operations in the Mediterranean in the framework of which a special marine operations centre will be created in Crete.

    Ries placed emphasis on the progress of the Greek economy, underlining the positive impact created by reforms being attempted and assessed that they will attract investing interest. In the framework of commercial, as well as defence cooperation, he expressed satisfaction over the decision recently taken by Athens to strengthen the Greek air force with F-16 fighter planes.

    After admitting that for many years Greece was considered a difficult environment for investments, he noted that this picture is changing now. He termed Greece "our natural partner" in southeastern Europe and added that Greece is developing into an investments corridor towards the Balkans.


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