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Ambassador Burns on U.S. - Greece Relations

Miscellaneous News from Greece Directory - Previous Article

Originally From: John Sitilides <sitilides@westernpolicy.org>


For Immediate Release
Contact: Spiros Rizopoulos (202) 530-1425
March 3, 1999

Ambassador Nicholas Burns Addresses
U.S.-Greece Relations, Opportunities And Concerns Among Allies

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Ambassador to Greece R. Nicholas Burns examined recent developments in U.S.-Greece relations, the impact of the Ocalan matter on Greek-Turkish affairs, and prospects for peace in Cyprus, the eastern Mediterranean, and the Balkans during today's Perspectives Roundtable organized by the Western Policy Center.

In his frank, off-the-record remarks, Ambassador Burns reviewed the strategic importance of Greece to the U.S.; Greece's ongoing progress in joining Europe's Economic and Monetary Union in 2001; Greece's constructive contributions to NATO security missions in Kosovo and Bosnia; the convergence of U.S. and Greek foreign policy; and avenues for improving U.S.-Greek economic relations. Ambassador Burns also fielded a series of questions from the audience, composed of think-tank analysts and regional experts, during a lengthy session moderated by John Sitilides, Executive Director of the Center.

Ambassador Burns was appointed by President Clinton and sworn in on November 10, 1997. Previous to his service in Athens, Burns served as Spokesman for the Department of State and Acting Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs under Secretaries Warren Christopher and Madeleine Albright from 1995 to 1997. In addition, Burns served in diplomatic posts in Egypt and Israel, as Director for Soviet (later Russian) Affairs at the National Security Council under the Bush administration, and as President Bush's advisor on Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus.

Today's event was the fourth Perspectives Roundtable, part of a series at the Western Policy Center, which convenes government officials, foreign policy analysts, and diplomats to exchange ideas and promote solutions to problems among Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus.

On February 19, the Center hosted Professor Theodore Couloumbis from the University of Athens and Colonel Haldun Solmazturk from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, who addressed current problems and security perceptions between Greece and Turkey, as well as prospects for creative and workable solutions, before an audience of senior officials from the Departments of State and Defense, and the Intelligence Community.

The series of high quality discussions on serious issues in the Aegean, Cyprus, and the Balkans began with the Center's first roundtable in November 1998 with Professor Speros Vryonis, Jr., and Professor Christos Ioannides of the S.B. Vryonis Center for the Study of Hellenism addressing State Department, Defense Department, and Intelligence Community officials. In January 1999, the Center hosted Greece's Minister of Development, Vasso Papandreou, who discussed "Greece's Economic Leadership Role in the Balkans" before an audience of State Department officials, think-tank analysts, and financial journalists.


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