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Greece / Corfu High-Level Meetings

oscehellas(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) The Greek Chairmanship of the OSCE is hosting an informal meeting of OSCE foreign ministers on June 27 and June 28, on the Greek island of Corfu.  The Corfu ministerial meeting will bring together all 56 participating states to the same table for a dialogue related to security in Europe and OSCE’s role. Corfu will also play host to the NATO-Russia Council meeting -the first one since the crisis in Georgia last summer- scheduled to take place on June 27. The meeting will focus on revitalizing the Council with the objective of developing its activities and improving NATO-Russian relations.  Among those attending the meetings will be the Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union, Javier Solana, the EU Commissioner on External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the Secretaries General of  NATO and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The US delegation will be headed by Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg and the Russian by FM Sergey Lavrov.

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Greek Commander @ Helm of EU Naval Operation

The Council of the European Union adopted a Joint Action on an EU military operation on November 10 to tackle piracy and armed robbery off the Somali coast. Greek Commodore Antonios Papaioannou was appointed as the commander of EU naval forces in the area. The operation (EU NAVFOR, Somalia) under the code name “Atalanta” is the first naval operation launched by the European Union within the framework of the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), Javier Solana congratulated Papaioannou, adding that he brings “his considerable expertise and the experience of his national navy to his role as Force commander for this operation in a new area for the EU.”  The success of the operation will secure a safe passage for vulnerable vessels, including those of the United Nation’s food aid programme. Following the Governmental Council on Foreign Policy and National Defence’s meeting yesterday (12.11.2008), Defense Minister Evangelos Meimarakis announced that Greece will participate in the Atalanta operation. Ministry of Defense: Hellenic Navy & International Presence