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New OSCE PA President: Petros Efthymiou

Ruling PASOK party deputy Petros Efthymiou was elected as the new president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), during the forum’s 19th annual session.
Efthymiou, who was a Vice-President in the Assembly, was elected with 130 votes, against 64 of Senator Consiglio Di Nino (Canada).
Participants at the 19th session discussed a wide range of issues, amongst which the situation in Kyrgyzstan, the Parliamentary Assembly’s involvement in the Corfu process, the peace process in the Middle East, nuclear security, cyber-crime.
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

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OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Alternate Defence Minister Panos Beglitis will inaugurate the OSCE’s Forum for Security Co-operation with an address at the Organisation’s headquarters in Vienna today.
Greece assumes the rotating chairmanship for the first four months of 2010.
The Forum constitutes the OSCE’s autonomous political and military body, and deals with issues of the so-called “tough security”, with its own Presidency, that alternates in alphabetical order every four months, as well with its own “Troika,” which functions in a coordinating manner.

OSCE Meeting begins

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Forty-five foreign ministers and 57 high-level delegations from the Organisation for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE) participating states have gathered in Athens to discuss the future of European security as the organisation’s 17th Ministerial Council begins today (1.12).
Representing the Greek OSCE Chairmanship, Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas, told journalists yesterday – at a reception held at the New Acropolis Museum – that the meeting comes at a critical moment, and underlined the importance of a co-operative approach to address European security’s challenges.
A video of the opening and closing sessions as well as the concluding conference, can be viewed here.

Black Sea Business Forum / Thessaloniki, 12 & 13 November 2009

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) The Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline is a significant project with geopolitical, economic and energy importance, Deputy Foreign Minister Spyros Kouvelis noted, speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a Black Sea Business Forum in Thessaloniki, on November 12. 
The 3rd Union of Black Sea and Caspian Confederation of Enterprises (UBCCE) business forum, entitled “Seizing New Investment and Trade Opportunities in the Black Sea and Caspian in the Post Crisis Era,” is being held in Thessaloniki on November 12-13.

It is hosted by the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises and the Federation of Industries of Northern Greece.
Addressing the event, Kouvelis stressed Greece’s commitment to the enhancement of co-operation with the European Union, through the establishment of “Black Sea Partnerships” within the “Black Sea Synergy” process, as well as through the new “Eastern Partnership” EU initiative.
Greece, he said, will have the chance to advance this perspective during the Greek Chairmanship of the Organization of Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), which commences on June 1, 2010.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs: The Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization

Greek Prime Minister’s First Trip Abroad

» In Istanbul

On his first trip abroad to attend the informal meeting of the Southeast European Cooperation Process (SEECP) in Istanbul, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister George Papandreou, held talks, on October 9, with Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglou and discussed all issues concerning Greek-Turkish relations. Papandreou pointed out to Erdogan that, “we have proved that we want good relations with Turkey and we support its European course,” adding however, that “Turkey must also take the steps that Europe requires so that its accession course can move forward.” Earlier, in a message to the Turkish people, Papandreou had stressed that they “know that I am always honest with them. Honest and open in the positive prospects we have in cooperating, but also honest in talking about the real problems we still have between our two countries.” Regarding Cyprus, the prime minister said that a solution should be found -a just, European solution for a unified Cyprus, free of dependencies on its motherlands, free of occupation troops, divisions and walls that have no place in the European Union.

Regarding bilateral relations, the PM said that the two countries must respect borders and territorial integrity and this would be the basis of a durable and strong good neighbourly relationship. Papandreou made these statements during his meeting with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who, according to the premier with his wisdom and action has promoted Orthodoxy worldwide, championing objectives such as protection of the environment and ecology.

» OSCE CiO Welcomes Turkey-Armenia Accords

The Chairman-in-Office of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Greece’s premier and foreign minister George Papandreou welcomed the signing of an agreement between Armenia and Turkey for the normalisation of their relations, which was signed on October 10, following months of Swiss-mediated talks.

» SEECP Meeting: A roadmap for Accession

Addressing the Southeast European Cooperation Process (SEECP) informal meeting of Foreign Affairs Ministers in Istanbul, Prime Minister and FM George Papandreou stressed that the Southeastern Europe and the Balkans can contribute to a new dynamic in Europe.

“A new dynamic in enlarging the European Union […] and creating a socially just Europe […] with a greater role in the world.” Papandreou said that a revised version of the so-called Thessaloniki Agenda – the basis of the Greek Presidency in the EU in 2003 – and a roadmap for accession of the rest of the Western Balkans with a specific date can contribute to this process.  Ministry of Foreign Affairs: PM and FM Papandreou’s speech at the informal meeting of FMs

Ambassador of the Hellenic Republic to Washington Meets Obama

Obama---Kaskarelis1(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Ambassador of the Hellenic Republic Vassilis Kaskarelis presented on July 20 his credentials to the President of the United States Barack Obama.  In his remarks, Ambassador Kaskarelis stressed that the two countries have often found themselves fighting shoulder-to-shoulder and waging concerted efforts for the common causeand, expressed his conviction that there exists ample room for further cementing our friendship and our strategic partnership.  US President Barack Obama said he was looking forward to working closely with the new ambassador to deepen the already close relations between the countries, and remarked that “Greece and the United States share a long history of friendship based on common values, common goals, and mutual commitment to democracy and freedom.”  The US President laid particular emphasis on Greece’s Chairmanship of the OSCE, remarking that “as a fellow member of the OSCE, we are grateful for Greece’s able leadership as OSCE 2009 Chairman-in Office.”  Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Bilateral Greece-USA

Greek FM Tours Caucasus

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Foreign Minister and Chairperson of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Dora Bakoyannis began a tour of the Caucasus yesterday, specifically in Azerbaijan and Armenia. In statements after a number of meetings in Azerbaijan, the first stop of her tour, Bakoyannis said that her visit was aimed at “strengthening bilateral relations and contributing to a settlement of the long-lasting problem Nagorno-Karabakh problem, by intensifying efforts made for many years by OSCE.”  Bakoyannis said that they focused on energy cooperation and pipelines. “Our goal is to bring Azerbaijani natural gas to Europe via the Turkey- Greece– Italy (TGI) pipeline,” the foreign minister stressed. Referring to the currently “frozen” Nagorno-Karabakh conflict that has a direct impact on stability in southern Caucasus, Bakoyannis stressed that the Greek OSCE chairmanship is intensifying efforts that are underway for years for the solution of the thorny issue.Today the minister is in Armenia. Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Statements of FM Bakoyannis following her meeting with her Azeri counterpart Mammadyarov (Baku, 2.7.09) & Statements following her meeting with her Armenian counterpart Edward Nalbandian (Yerevan, 3.7.2009); Bilateral Relations Greece-Azerbaijan& Greece-Armenia; Greek News Agenda: FM on Nagorno-Karabakh