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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-07-11

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Deputy FM attends 10th anniversary of Srebrenica massacre
  • [02] Greece 'guest of honour' at 2008 Beijing Games

  • [01] Deputy FM attends 10th anniversary of Srebrenica massacre

    A Greek delegation, headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Evripidis Stylianidis, commemorated the 10th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre on Monday, together with dozens of delegations from Europe and the US.

    "The Greek government and the Greek people condemn any act of violence that offends human rights, regardless where it happens," Stylianidis said upon his arrival in Sarajevo, shortly before departing for Srebrenica.

    On Tuesday, Stylianidis will be inaugurating the Common Institutions building in Sarajevo, which will house Bosnia & Herzegovina's government agencies.

    Construction of the building is financed 80% by the Greek government within the context of the Greek Plan for Economic Reconstruction in the Balkans.

    Stylianidis will attend the contract signing and will hand over a check for 2.5 million to local authorities as advance payment. Greece's total participation in the project will amount to 13.5 million.

    "We are here to express our solidarity and support to the people of Bosnia & Herzegovina and to all Balkan peoples who have suffered in past years, with actions, political programmes, initiatives, even funding, in order to support the reconstruction of the Balkans and the establishment of peace and democracy throughout the greater region," he said.

    [02] Greece 'guest of honour' at 2008 Beijing Games

    Greece will have the exclusive distinction of 'guest of honour' at the 2008 Beijing Games following the request made by Alternate Culture Minister Fani Palli-Petralia and the agreement of Chinese Culture Minister Sun Jiazheng.

    Petralia received approval of her request during a working lunch she had with Jiazheng on Monday in the Chinese capital.

    The request was made in the context of promoting Greek culture and the Olympic Spirit during the Beijing Games.

    The agreement is of particular importance for both sides as it signals the beginning of a new era in cultural relations between the two countries, based on Olympic ideals.

    Greece and China will work together in formulating a series of proposals, while the agreement between the two countries is to be signed during Prime Minsiter Costas Karamanlis' upcoming visit to China.

    "The agreement is very important and it will place particular emphasis and add a new dimension to the great Olympic bridge we are building between Athens and Beijing," Petralia said.

    "We have already agreed on a large-scale exhibit to be held at Beijing's National Archaeological Museum with Olympic Culture as its theme," she added.

    On his part, Jiazheng said that, "With Mrs. Petralia's visit to Beijing we are turning a new page in the two countries' cooperation in the cultural sector."

    He added that, "With the staging of the Olympic Games in Beijing the Olympic Spirit will spread throughout China. Because Greece is the birthplace of the Olympic Games, for us it is a priority that we borrow from Greece's wisdom. It's natural that the spirit of the Olympic Games is the spirit of Greek civilisation, which is why 2008 is the year of the Beijing Olympic Games but also that of Greek civilisation."

    Additionally, Petralia and China's Sports Minister Liu Peng signed a memorandum of cooperation regarding the creation of a Joint Committee of Olympic Cooperation.

    Petralia also met with the Vice President of Beijing's Olympics Organising Committee Liu Jingmin and other committee officials as well as with officials responsible for the Olympic Torch Relay and the Olympic Truce.

    Finally, Petralia also met with China's Education Minister Zhou Ji.

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