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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-07-14

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Deputy FM discusses cooperation in shipping, trade during visit to Brazil
  • [02] Middle East crisis 'alarming', PASOK leader says
  • [03] Greece concerned over Mideast crisis, airlifts on stand-by

  • [01] Deputy FM discusses cooperation in shipping, trade during visit to Brazil

    BRASILIA (ANA-MPA N. Melissova) -- Visiting Brazil on Thursday, Greece's Deputy Foreign Minister Evripidis Stylianidis held talks with local officials on the prospects for bilateral cooperation in the shipping sector, alternative energy sources and the export of agricultural goods.

    Stylianidis is visiting Brasilia as part of a tour of Latin American countries that also included a stop in Argentina's Buenos Aires. On Friday, the minister is also scheduled to attend the opening session of the Ecological Symposium sponsored by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I in Manaus, on the shores of the Amazon River, which is being funded by the Greek foreign ministry organisation Hellenic Aid.

    The Symposium, which will draw internationally renowned scientists, politicians and journalists will be officially opened by the Patriarch, while Stylianidis will represent the Greek government.

    In talks on Thursday with Brazilian deputy foreign minister Samuel Pinheiro Guimaraes and Brazilian Development Minister Luiz Fernando Furlan, the Greek minister said his visit fulfilled the promise given by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis in Vienna to cement ties with Latin American countries, noting that Greek economic diplomacy in the area will officially begin half-way into 2007.

    The two sides made arrangements for a Greece-Brazil joint ministerial meeting to pinpoint areas of mutual interest for cooperation, to be followed by a business conference in which "market forces will take over after the state has prepared the way".

    Stylianidis conveyed Greece's interest in the use of the Greek commercial fleet for the transportation of Brazilian and Argentinian exports, in the purchase of ports and shipyards and mining concerns.

    Regarding alternative energy sources, the two delegations agreed on an exchange of knowhow, since Greece is ahead in solar technology while Latin American countries have made greater strides in bio-fuels, while they also discussed the prospects of oil purchases from Brazil that is now starting to export oil

    With Argentina, which is a producer of oil and natural gas, the Greek minister discussed the transport of natural gas using Greek ships.

    Talking to reporters after the meetings, Stylianidis said that Greek diplomacy was extremely interested in establishing ties with Brazil since it is one of the most powerful Latin American countries and a member of the local economic union Mercosur, while it is regarding as a 'gateway' for trade with other South American countries in the interior.

    The Greek minister also highlighted the role of Brazil's thriving Greek community in the efforts to establish ties.

    Caption: Greece's deputy foreign minister (L) and Brazil's Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee chairman Alceu de Deus Collares, during their meeting at the Brazilian foreign ministry in Brasilia. (ANA-MPA/N. Kotsiaris)

    [02] Middle East crisis 'alarming', PASOK leader says

    Main opposition PASOK party leader and Socialist International President George Papandreou said on Thursday that the crisis in the Middle East was alarming and it was escalating "very dangerously".

    "The crisis in the Middle East is alarming and it is escalating very dangerously. Military clashes may result in the generalisation of the conflict all over the region with unforeseeable consequences. I condemn the attacks of Israel in southern Lebanon and I call for the release of the soldiers who are presently being held hostage as well," Papandreou said after meeting the International Women's Committee for Peace in the Middle East, which will hold a urgent meeting in Athens, and in which, among others, women from Palestine and Israel are participating.

    "The Socialist International believes that instead of force, reason must prevail and instead of conflict, dialogue," he added.

    Lastly, Papandreou said that the Socialist International will continue initiatives to convey the message to the international community that it also has great responsibilities not to merely sit back and watch but to take initiatives in the direction of a ceasefire and of peace.

    [03] Greece concerned over Mideast crisis, airlifts on stand-by

    Athens on Friday again called for self-restraint by all sides amid the latest unsettling crisis in the Middle East, with Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis warning that "unrestricted military action" over the past few days in Lebanon has dramatically escalated the already tense situation.

    Bakoyannis stressed that such unrestricted military action should be avoided, "along with an excessive reaction, strikes against civilians and against infrastructure used primarily by them (civilians)".

    Moreover, she echoed other Greek officials in stressing that the ongoing situation causes distress in Athens and heightened concern within the international community -- "these reactions in tandem with the abductions of Israeli soldiers that preceded, as well as military strikes against Israeli regions, exacerbate the impasse in the Middle East."

    Meanwhile, the foreign ministry announced that additional Olympic Airways planes have been made available for flights to Amman, Jordan and Damascus, Syria, if necessary, to airlift Greek or European nationals from the area. Some 50 Greek nationals in Lebanon have already requested their repatriation, whereas the Cyprus government has also made a relevant request for the transport of its citizens.


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