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Socialists’ Meetings in the Balkans

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  President of Socialist International and leader of the main opposition PASOK Party, George Papandreou will address the Socialist International Council Meeting in the Republic of Montenegro (June 29-30).  The meeting will focus on ways to deal with the economic meltdown, climate change, regional conflicts, recent developments in Iran and illegal migration.  Visiting Balkan countries ahead of the Council’s works, Papandreou first arrived in Albania where he held talks with Edi Rama, head of the Socialist Party of Albania and current Mayor of Tirana, as well as with his Beatitude, Archbishop Anastasios of the Orthodox Church of Albania.  Next stop for SI president was Serbia, where he met with President Boris Tadic. Both in Albania and in Serbia, Papandreou endorsed the countries’ European perspective. Especially in the case of Serbia, Papandreou acknowledged that the country has taken important steps in terms of reforms suitable to an EU candidacy.”

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1020th Anniversary of the Baptism of Rus

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Celebrating the 1,020th anniversary of the conversion of Russia to Christianity, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I and Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia officiated at a joint service in Kiev yesterday. Present at the ceremony were Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos, Archbishop of Tirana and All Albania Anastasios and Kiev Metropolitan Vladimir. The two Patriarchs assisted a meeting marking the beginning of a new era in the relations of the Patriarchate of Moscow with the Mother Church, resolving past tensions. After the meeting, Smolensk Metropolitan Kyrill stated that it was “sincere and with God’s help all problems will be handled,” while Patriarch Alexy underlined that “dialogue is the base to handle all issues.” The Moscow Patriarch will participate in a synod of Orthodox Patriarchs organised by the Ecumenical Patriarchate at the Fanar, Istanbul, next October.