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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-05-09

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] DM: Greece striving for peace in Balkans

  • [01] DM: Greece striving for peace in Balkans

    Greece is taking a leading role in the effort to transform the Balkans into a neighbourhood of peace, stability and growth, National Defence Minister Evangelos Meimarakis stressed in his address to a two-day seminar organised by one of Greece's inter-branch officers' school in Thessaloniki.

    "We must not allow things to backslide and Greece is working systematically to establish an environment of trust, mutual understanding and cooperation. Because the requirement is chiefly to create an atmosphere of mutual trust, so that there is honest and substantive dialogue for the solution of problems," the minister said.

    In this context, Greece supported the entry of Balkan countries in EuroAtlantic structures, the development of regional cooperation, consolidating good neighbourly relations and the peaceful resolution of outstanding issues, such as the final name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

    Regarding Kosovo, meanwhile, he said that any solution found must not upset delicate balances in southeastern Europe.

    The defence minister also urged Ankara to stop violations of Greek airspace by Turkish military aircraft and incursions into Greek territorial waters, stressing that Athens was dedicated to creating a climate of zero tension over and in the Aegean Sea.

    Stressing that tension in the Aegean benefited neither side, Meimarakis also expressed hope that domestic developments in Turkey would not result in tension in its relations with Greece and their prospects for improvement.

    Commenting on the formation of a regional security system for southeastern Europe, the minister said that a multinational EU battle group set up by Greece, Romania, Bulgaria and Cyprus for handling emergencies would be operational on July 1 and that this was the first time that Cyprus would participate operationally in a European security and defence.

    Caption: An ANA-MPA file photo of Meimarakis.

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