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Greek FM on Nagorno – Karabakh

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, speaking ahead of the 15th anniversary of the ceasefire agreement that ended one of the most violent conflicts in the area of the former Soviet Union, expressed hope that the parties in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict would make further progress towards a peaceful settlement.  She also welcomed the constructive discussions between President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan and President Serzh Sarksyan of Armenia in Prague on May 7. Bakoyannis further urged the two parties to implement fully the provisions of the ceasefire, including pulling back snipers from the front lines.  Related News: Visit of Deputy Foreign Minister Varvitsiotis to Azerbaijan heading a business delegation 

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Greek Foreign Minister: A Change of Priorities

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Foreign Ministry Dora Bakoyannis addressed the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce on May 5 on “The impact of the economic crisis on the international stage: The position of Greece.”    At the dawn of this new era, Greece needs to find new development potential firmly founded on its true capabilities and prospects. The triptych “structural changes and development initiatives, financial stability and tangible solidarity with those in greater need” form the basis for the structured plan implemented by the government in order to get the country safely out of the current crisis. In the long run, these are also the main pillars on which our country’s future development course is based. For this course, the minister elaborates on a change of priorities, consisting of three main points: innovation, externalisation, and the need to invest in creative forces.   In related news, at a joint press conference on May 6, representatives of the Hellenic-American, Hellenic-British, Hellenic-French, Hellenic-German and Hellenic-Italian chambers of commerce said they consider the measures undertaken by the government in order to overcome the crisis as being on the right path and called for greater emphasis to be placed on structural changes.   Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Dora Bakoyannis’ speech to the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce 

Adriatic – Ionian Initiative

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The meeting of the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative (AII) members’ Parliament Speakers took place on May 4, within the framework of the Hellenic Chairmanship of the AII. Greece assumed the AII’s one-year Chairmanship on June 1, 2008.  Addressing the event, Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis said that only one clear conclusion comes out of discussions on how to find a way out of this crisis: global problems call for global solutions. “Though there are no magic recipes, any collective international effort is valuable,” said the minister.  She emphasized that strengthening relations between countries and enhanced international cooperation between significant players – such as the academic community and local authorities- constitute valuable contributions to mutual understanding in order to address common challenges. Adriatic – Ionian Initiative: Hellenic Chairmanship ; Ministry of Foreign Affairs: International Conference for an Adriatic–Ionian Development Strategy (Corfu, 13.2.2009)

Greek FM’s Call to Turkey

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Diplomats discussed the state of Greek-Turkish relations after Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis telephoned her Turkish counterpart Ali Babacan on Thursday (April 30) to complain about an increase in transgressions of Greek air space in the Aegean. After a sharp rise in violations by Turkish fighter jets, Bakoyannis called Babacan and expressed Greek concerns. It is believed that Ankara’s belligerence is a reaction to Greece signing a bilateral treaty with Albania for the delineation of the continental shelf in the Ionian Sea. Kathimerini daily: FM calls Turks over violations Greek News Agenda: Greece- Albania Sign Pact; United Nations: Law on the Exclusive Economic Zone and the Continental Shelf

First Foreign Woman Enters French Academy

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  

doraspeechForeign Minister Dora Bakoyannis became the first foreign woman to be elected as an associate member of France’s prestigious Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques yesterday. Bakoyannis stressed that her election was a great honour, not only for herself but for Greece as well. On this occasion, she also met the French Prime Minister Francois Fillon yesterday in Paris to discuss issues regarding the reinforcement of solidarity among Eurozone countries, based on the proposal already put forward by France. Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Statement of Dora Bakoyannis following her meeting with French Prime Minister François Fillon

Greek CiO at OSCE Parliamentary Assembly

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Chairperson-in-Office Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis said modesty, consolidation and time were needed for a successful conclusion to the discussion on how to develop the European security architecture in a speech delivered at an OSCE Parliamentary Assembly meeting in Vienna yesterday. Noting that the issue had been discussed between the 56 Foreign Ministers participating in the December 2008 OSCE Ministerial Council in Helsinki, Bakoyannis said the debate so far had confirmed that the OSCE is the natural platform for pan-European discussion. She said three principles could help guide the discussions. “The first is modesty. We have come a long way since the Cold War. Walls have been torn down and families reunited. But the job is not done. Some participating States feel that we have not yet overcome all dividing lines in Europe. So let us take every invitation to dialogue seriously,” she said. The second principle was consolidation: “As we consider new initiatives, let us build on the ground that we have cleared already,” Bakoyannis said. The final principle was to proceed slowly, she noted, keeping in mind that the 1975 Helsinki Final Act, which led to the creation of the OSCE, was preceded by lengthy discussions including 2,400 meetings and deliberations on 4,660 proposals. “We should take the time required to prepare a positive agenda, to consider all options and consult widely,” she said. Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Opening Speech of Dora Bakoyannis at the Winter Meeting of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and  Statements of FM Bakoyannis on the margins of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly 

OSCE Mandate in Georgia Extended

GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The 56 participating states in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), agreed yesterday in Vienna to extend the presence of the Organization’s unarmed military monitoring officers in Georgia until June 30. Chairperson-in-Office, Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, welcomed the move, saying: “This decision to extend the mandate of the OSCE monitors shows that all states agree that the Organization is a critical part of international efforts to secure lasting stability in the region.  I am confident that we can build on this consensus to ensure that the OSCE will be able to continue its important work for all peoples in the region and help to address urgent humanitarian challenges.”