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Greek FM Bakoyannis meets Palestinian Official

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis met on Friday in Athens with the Palestinian Authority Minister for Foreign Affairs Riad Al-Malki for talks focusing on developments in Gaza regarding Israel’s military operations. During a joint press conference afterwards, Bakoyannis underlined the need to open the crossing points to Gaza so that humanitarian aid can reach those in need. Both ministers acknowledged that achieving reconciliation and unity among Palestinians is the prerequisite for addressing the Palestinian issue, which lies at the heart of the Middle East problem.  The two sides also signed a memorandum for political consultation and renewed the two-year Executive Educational Programme, reaffirming the ties between the two peoples and the desire to develop bilateral cooperation. In related news, Bakoyannis travelled yesterday to Brussels to attend a working dinner of EU foreign ministers on the Middle East with the participation of the foreign ministers of Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, and the Palestinian Authority, focusing on the situation in the Gaza Strip and the EU’s contribution to the peace process. Today (January 26) Bakoyannis is expected to give a speech at the European Policy Centre entitled “The World in 2009: a year for Europe?”