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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-08-23

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Bakoyannis visits Beirut, Amman
  • [02] Deputy FM Kassimis to visit Australia
  • [03] Greece at Venice Architectural Biennale

  • [01] Bakoyannis visits Beirut, Amman

    Greece's Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis arrived in war-ravaged Beirut on Wednesday, on the second day of a Middle East tour that includes stops in Cyprus, Jordan and Israel, and met her Lebanese counterpart Fawzi Salloukh. After their meeting, Salloukh warmly praised Greece's stance during Israel's attack against Lebanon, saying that Greece took decisions "did it credit" and had asked for a ceasefire as soon as the war began.

    "There would not be so many dead, or such great destruction of infrastructure, if it had been heard," he added.

    He asked for Greece to support the lifting of the blockade against Lebanon, the cessation of hostilities that are still continuing and to intercede with Israel so that it implemented UN Security Council resolution 1701.

    Bakoyannis expressed condolences for the many Lebanese civilians killed in the fighting and arranged to meet her Lebanese counterpart in Beirut again "in a new era of peace".

    In addition to Salloukh, the Greek foreign minister had successive meetings with Lebanese Parliament Speaker and leader of the Shiite party Nabih Berri, Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and Beirut's Orthodox Metropolitan Ilias.

    Wrapping up her meetings in Beirut, Bakoyannis stressed that it had been a "particularly interesting visit from which a clear message emerged: that implementation of the Security Council resolution will be difficult but must take place in order for the necessary steps of progress to follow."

    She also expressed satisfaction that Greece's contribution both during the crisis and in the process for preserving the peace had been recognised.

    The first stop of Bakoyannis' three-day tour of the Middle East, carried out in preparation for Greece's assumption of the rotating monthly UN Security Council presidency on September 1, was in Cyprus.

    Bakoyannis arrived in Nicosia on Tuesday afternoon and departed Wednesday morning for Lebanon, while her next stops are Jordan and Israel.

    She departed Beirut for Amman on Wednesday afternoon, where she met with Jordanian officials as well as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who is currently on a visit there.

    While in Cyprus, she noted that the country played an "exceptional, important and strategic role" in the recent Middle East crisis. She stressed the Cypriot people's humanitarian response and hospitality in responding to the needs that arose from the crisis in Lebanon, while highlighting the swift reaction of both Greece and Cyprus to the crisis and their contribution to the evacuation of local residents and foreign nationals fleeing the war zone.

    "Greece and Cyprus were and are present, responding to the sentiments of their peoples," Bakoyannis said, adding that her Middle East tour sought to "examine the situation at first-hand".

    During a working dinner hosted by Cyprus president Tassos Papadopoulos on Tuesday night, the two officials exchanged views on and reviewed developments in the Middle East, the Cyprus issue, and EU-Turkey relations, in view of the EU progress report for Turkey to be issued in October.

    Bakoyannis will seek to contribute to diplomatic efforts for the full implementation of UNSCR 1701 during her meetings with Middle East government officials and will also press for full respect of the fragile truce recently agreed, in order to allow the distribution of humanitarian aid.

    Other goals of the trip include the support and reinforcement of the Lebanese government, understanding Israel's security concerns, attempting to establish a permanent and lasting solution for the Palestinian problem, and promoting efforts for peace.

    Bakoyannis-Abbas meeting in Amman

    Bakoyannis, following her departure from Beirut, visited Amman on Wednesday afternoon where she met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas who is currently on a visit to Jordan.

    In statements after their meeting, the Greek foreign minister referred to the long-time relations between Greece and the Palestinian Territories and to the talks she had with the Palestinian leader, during which Abbas emphasised his efforts to set up a new government and expressed his views on the crisis in Lebanon.

    "Greece is undertaking the presidency the UN Security Council next month and consequently, we are interested in these views as we wish to coordinate our efforts," said Bakoyannis. She further noted the European Union's steadfast position for active participation in the Palestinian issue.

    Bakoyannis was due on Wednesday evening to attend a dinner hosted by her Jordanian counterpart Abdelah Al-Khatib.

    On Thursday morning, Bakoyannis will be received by King Abdullah II and by Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit.

    [02] Deputy FM Kassimis to visit Australia

    Greece' Deputy Foreign Minister Theodoros Kassimis is due to arrive in the Australian city of Melbourne on August 31 at the head of a ministry delegation. His official contacts will begin on Friday, when he is scheduled to meet the local archbishop, Melbourne's Lord Mayor Joe So and attend a dinner given in his honour by Greek-Australian MPs and senators at the Melbourne State Parliament.

    During the rest of his visit, Kassimis will visit Greek community schools and organisations, visit the National Centre of Greek Studies and Research and hold talks with representatives of the Greek-Australian community.

    (ANA-MPA file photo of Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Theodoros Kassimis)

    [03] Greece at Venice Architectural Biennale

    "The Aegean, an interspersed city", is the title of Greece's participation in the prestigious international Venice Architectural Biennale. The 10th International Architectural Exhibition, which takes place from September 10 to November 19 in Venice, Italy, features participants from 50 countries on four different continents. The 2006 Venice Archtectural Biennale theme is "Cities: Architecture and Society".

    The central concept of the Greek participation is to present the Aegean as a city, the organisers of the Greek participation told a press conference on Wednesday, while culture minister George Voulgarakis said that this year's Greek exhibition aims to link the Greek sea with the Mediterranean civilisation and the European dimension.

    The Greek display is curated by architects Katerina Kotzia, Elias Constantopoulos, Lois Papadopoulos and Korina Filoxenidou, and organised by the General Secretariat for Modern Culture's fine arts directorate.

    This year's Biennale focuses on the key factors facing large scale metropolitan areas around the world, from migration to mobility, from social integration to sustainable growth.

    The Greek pavilion, which will cover a 350 sq.m. expanse in the Giardini Gardens, where the exhibition will take place, attempts to convey sentiments of a traveller to the Aegean, while a platform Square with scattered luggage will give a sense of travel.

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