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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-06-20

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Premier Karamanlis confers with foreign minister ahead of EU summit
  • [02] PASOK leader meets with Serbian FM

  • [01] Premier Karamanlis confers with foreign minister ahead of EU summit

    Prime minister Costas Karamanlis conferred on Wednesday with foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis, ahead of the two-day EU summit that opens Thursday in Brussels.

    "It is one of the most critical European Councils of the last few years," Bakoyannis told reporters after her meeting with the premier, adding that the talks also covered the issue of the so-called reforms Treaty for the 27-member bloc.

    "I want to believe that the leaderships of the European countries will contribute so that the outcome will be positive for Europe's future. We, all the European citizens, have the duty to support the common European structure," she said.

    [02] PASOK leader meets with Serbian FM

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou met on Wednesday with visiting Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic, with talks focusing on Kosovo's future status, safeguarding stability in the region and the European prospects of Serbia and other western Balkan countries.

    Speaking to reporters after a working lunch, Papandreou, who is also president of the Socialist International (SI), welcomed a resumption of talks between Belgrade and the European Union on a Stability and Association Agreement, stressing that the region's European prospects was a "fundamental element for the consolidation of peace and cooperation, the principles of good neighbourhood, respect of human rights, and the development of all the peoples of the region, and naturally is also in Greece's interest".

    Referring to the Kosovo issue, Papandreou said it was a problem that concerned the entire region and also Europe, noting that the solution found must in no instance be an imposed one. "A solution that is imposed and is not the product of agreement between the two sides creates polarisation, a sense of injustice and, in the bottom line, is a fragile solution also for the stability in the region," he warned.

    Papandreou also said that the European Union had "historic responsibilities", adding that it should have been at the forefront of the efforts but was not. He said that after the EU summit in Thessaloniki, the EU had backed down from its role in the Balkans, adding that Greece, too, needed to play its role much more actively. "Unfortunately, Greece, too, is not playing the role that belongs to it in the region," Papandreou said, and promised that his party will continue to actively support cooperation with Serbia and the other countries of the region.

    Jeremic warned of a threat from Kosovo causing destabilisation in the wider region, noting that the purpose of his visit to Athens was to discuss the role that Greece can play, as a Balkan country that belongs to both the EU and NATO.

    "I asked for Greece's support, not only by the government, but also by the socialist movement, to which my party also belongs," he said.

    "We owe much to Greece with respect to our European prospect. In Thessaloniki in June 2003 (during the EU summit) we received a clear commitment on the part of Europe, and certainly there are many more things that need to be done jointly in order to secure peace and security in the Balkans. Besides, this is a requirement for full incorporation. We anticipate Greece's support, assistance and understanding," Jeremic said.

    "It is consoling to know that we have so many friends in Greece," the Serbian foreign minister stressed.

    The 32-year-old Jeremic, who assumed the Serbian foreign ministry helm only a few days ago, also referred to the first time he met Papandreou, when he was a young activist and the current PASOK leader was foreign minister of Greece, adding that Papandreou was his source of inspiration for his involvement in politics.

    Caption: ANA-MPA/EPA file photo of Jeremic. /S. ILNITSKY

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