OSCE: Dora Bakoyannis in Kosovo

GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis visited Kosovo on Tuesday (3.2.09), on the second day of her western Balkans tour. After holding meetings in Pristina with Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu and Prime Minister Hashim Thaci Bakoyannis noted that she was there “as a friend, as a neighbour and as chairperson of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE),” with the intention of helping the people of Kosovo, regardless of race or religion, to have a better future within the European family. The foreign minister underlined the importance that the Greek OSCE Chair attaches to the promotion of peace and stability in the western Balkans as well as Greece’s desire to boost relations with the people of Kosovo and expand economic ties, revealing plans for a business forum that will examine investment opportunities in the region. During a press conference, Bakoyannis was also asked about the dispute with FYROM over the name issue and why her tour did not include a visit to Skopje, which will be holding presidential elections in March. Bakoyannis did not rule out the possibility of a visit to Greece’s northern neighbour during 2009, as part of a series of visits she intends to carry out to the OSCE’ s 19 missions. She nevertheless urged the government in Skopje to carry out free and fair elections, noting that these would be monitored by a delegation of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and by the OSCE’s Parliamentary Assembly. Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Greece’s position on Kosovo’s independence and Op-ed by OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis published in Kosovo