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Greek Leadership Pays Respects to Cypriot Papadopoulos

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis arrived in Larnaca today to attend the funeral of former president Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos, who died on Friday in the Cypriot capital.  The funeral will be also attended by Dora Bakoyannis, main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou, Popular Orthodox Party (LA.OS) president George Karatzaferis and a delegation of the Greek parliament. President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias sent his condolences stating that “Tassos Papadopoulos has faithfully served the Republic of Cyprus and during his term in office, Cyprus found the place it deserves as member state in the European Union. It is unfortunate that Papadopoulos did not live long enough to witness a just and viable solution to the Cyprus issue, for which we all struggle.”  Karamanlis expressed his sincere and profound grief for the loss “of an historic political figure.” The premier emphasised Papadopoulos meaningful contribution to the Cypriot Hellenism, to which Papadopoulos had always been passionately devoted. The Associated Press: Cypriot ex-president Papadopoulos dies of cancer

Greek Foreign Minister: Strengthen European Defence Policy

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Speaking shortly after the European Union’s General Affairs and External Affairs Council (GAERC) (December 8-9) in Brussels on Monday, Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis stressed the need for strengthening the European Security and Defence Policy, as well as respect for the EU’s autonomy regarding the adoption of decisions. “The continuous strengthening of the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP), both political and operational, has always been Greece’s steadfast option and pursuit.” the minister said. She added that the fundamental principle of autonomy in the EU’s decision-making, on which it can and must boost its cooperation with the Atlantic Alliance, must be respected. Asked about Greece’s participation in operations against pirates in Somalia, Bakoyannis said that being a big maritime force it was impossible for Greece not to be a part of an effort by the international community to combat piracy. Topping the agenda of the meeting were the handling of the economic and monetary crisis and achieving an agreement on energy and climate, the main points of which were examined by the GAERC. Other issues included the EULEX in Kosovo, being launched today, developments on the interim agreement between the EU and Serbia as well as the situation in the Middle East and in Congo. Ministry of Foreign Affairs: European Policies- ESPD; Council of the European Union: The European Security and Defence Policy (ESPD)