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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-01-24

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] SEECP foreign ministers meet in Athens

  • [01] SEECP foreign ministers meet in Athens

    The Euro-Atlantic orientation of the countries of SE Europe was the common link and incentive leading to democratic and social development and economic progress, Greece's prime minister Costas Karamanlis said Tuesday, in his inaugural address to an Athens meeting of SE Europe Cooperation Process (SEECP) foreign ministers at the Zappeion Press Centre.

    The common volition was to "liberate our societies from the weights of the past and to broaden their horizons," he said, adding that "terrorist, extremities, corruption and organised crime have no place in these societies".

    On the prospects of SE Europe, Karamanlis said that the region needed to stop being an area of misunderstandings, violence and wars. "It deserves to become an area of cooperation and dialogue, creatively incorporated in broader international institutions, as a part of Europe, where it belongs," he said.

    Karamanlis particularly focussed on economic cooperation and the development of infrastructures, particularly in the sectors of energy and transports, which he said were necessary in order for SE Europe to be incorporated into the European Union.

    "The SE Europe Energy Community, in the framework of the 'Athens Process', the Trans-European Corridors, and natural gas and oil pipelines, are essential elements of these actions. We also believe that a Single Free Trade Area could also give new impetus to the economies of the region," the Greek premeir explained.

    Items on the agenda of the SEECP meeting are strengthening the political dialogue among the countries of the region and boosting regional cooperation, cooperation for the development of regional infrastructures, the future readjustment of the Stability Pact for SE Europe activities, and the European prospect of the SEECP countries.

    The foreign ministers attending the session will also discuss developments in current regional issues, with the main focus on Kosovo.

    The SEECP comprises Albania, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, FYROM, Greece, Turkey, and Serbia-Montenegro. The SEECP countries are represented at the AThens meeting by their foreign ministers, with the exception of Turkey, Romania and Albania, which are represented by other government officials.

    Also participating, as guests, are Austrian state secretary for foreign affairs (deputy foreign minister) Hans Winkler, representing the current Austrian presidency of the European Union, US ambassador to Greece Charles Ries, Russian ambassador to Greece Andrei Vdovin, director of the Central and South Eastern Europe division of the Japanese foreign ministry's European Affairs Bureau Akira Imamura, and SE Europe Stability Pact special coordinator Erhard Busek.


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