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OSCE Ministerial Council in Athens

» Papoulias Inaugurates OSCE Meeting

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias inaugurated yesterday the 17th Ministerial Council of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), taking place in Athens (1-2/12).
Papoulias welcomed delegates from the OSCE’ s 56 member states and described the international meeting as “an important political event and an opportunity to strengthen peaceful cooperation and promote the common goals of the member states, in order to reach tangible and substantive conclusions.”

» Papandreou’ s Address

The Corfu Process needs to be taken a step further in order to meet the challenges to European security in the 21st century, OSCE chairman-in-office, Greece’s Prime minister and Foreign minister George Papandreou stressed, addressing the first plenary session of the organisation’s 17th ministerial council.
“We have to agree on important decisions in the next two days to strengthen co-operative security across the OSCE area, to shape the work of our organization, and to create a strong foundation for Kazakhstan to build upon as it assumes the OSCE Chairmanship on January 1,” Papandreou said.
He also expressed his hope that a constructive spirit will prevail during the two-day deliberations of the meeting.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Speech of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Greece Papandreou, to the 1st Plenary session of the 17th OSCE Ministerial Council
See also Project Syndicate: Renewing Europe’s Security Dialogue by George Papandreou

» Sideline Meetings

On the sidelines of the OSCE ministerial council, Papandreou met with the foreign ministers of Finland, Alexander Stubb and Kazakhstan, Kanat Saudabayev, who together form the current OSCE “troika.”
Alternate foreign minister Dimitris Droutsas had a meeting with FYROM’s FM Antonio Milososki while the premier is scheduled to meet today with the foreign ministers of Russia and Turkey, Sergei Lavrov and Ahmet Davutoglou respectively.
At the end of the first day of meetings, the Greek OSCE chairmanship hosted a formal reception for the visiting diplomatic delegations at the Acropolis Museum.

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“Dialogue of Civilizations” Concludes

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The 7th Annual Session of the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations” concluded on the Dodecanese island of Rhodes yesterday (October 13) with the adoption of the “2009 Rhodes Declaration.”  The event was attended by 500 delegates from 70 countries and among the messages read out was one by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who praised the positive impact of the annual forum on several international and regional mechanisms and in developing relations between civil societies in many countries.  In its final meeting, the Forum decided to hold its 8th annual session on Rhodes once more, on October 7-10, 2010.

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.

Greece: News from Moscow

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis and her Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov met in Moscow on Wednesday and held talks. The greater part of the meting was devoted to Greece’s proposal for finding a compromise solution that would allow OSCE observers to remain in Georgia and South Ossetia. “The proposals of the (Greek) presidency are realistic both de facto and de jure and we are ready to help promote them,” said Lavrov later during a joint press conference.  Following their meeting, the Russian foreign ministry issued a statement saying that “Russia hails the priorities of the Greek presidency of the OSCE in 2009.”The Russian side evaluated positively the priorities set by Greece for the OSCE’s activities in 2009 and hailed the intention of the Greek presidency to organise a special ministerial meeting to continue discussion on the security problems in the and ways of resolving them,” the statement adds. The two ministers continued their talks over lunch, during which they tackled issues of bilateral interest, such as cooperation in the energy, tourism and trade sectors. Chairmanship of Greece at the OSCE: www.osce.org/cio; Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Greece-Russia Bilateral Relations