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EU Foreign Ministers meet in Poland (Sopot, 2-3/9/2011)

Foreign Minister Stavros Lambrinidis was in Sopot, Poland (September 2-3), to participate in the Polish Presidency’s informal (Gymnich) meeting of EU foreign ministers
During the meeting, Lambrinidis, together with his Cyprus counterpart Erato Markoullis, briefed their EU counterparts on the recent threats voiced by Turkey regarding the planned start of hydrocarbons exploration in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
Topping the agenda was the Middle East peace process in light of the Palestinian side’s plan to bring the state recognition issue to the United Nations summit (New York, September, 19). Lambrinidis highlighted the need for the EU to maintain its unity within the UN, as well as to undertake a leading role in the process. 
The Palestinian issue was inevitably linked to Israel’s relations with neighbouring Arab countries, in the wake of the Arab ‘spring’ and days after the Paris international conference on the future of Libya.

OSCE Chair at Munich Security Conference

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis presided over a panel on “NATO, Russia, Oil, Gas and the Middle East: The future of European security,” at the main plenary session of the 45th Munich Security Conference, where she emphasized Greece’s willingness to move forward with the dialogue on European security issues. Europe faces common threats and security challenges, and the OSCE remains the forum for dialogue on security issues, she said. “There appears to be widespread consensus that, to say the least, we need to engage in a dialogue on security issues. It goes without saying that – provided that there is agreement by all 56 OSCE participating states – Greece stands ready to organise meetings at any level that could launch, or more generally facilitate, such a dialogue,” Bakoyannis noted. In her speech, she touched upon several points, including European security, common interests and common values – such as respecting human rights, democracy and the rule of law, observing territorial integrity, refraining from the threat or use of force – as well as the continuation of OSCE work in Georgia. Lastly, she underlined the considerable advantage of such meetings, namely that the participants have the possibility of “speaking far more openly than in ordinary forums.” Bakoyannis is in Tirana today as part of her Balkan countries’ tour, where she will be meeting with Albanian President Bamir Topi, Prime Minister Sali Berisha and her counterpart Lulzim Basha. Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Speech of FM Dora Bakoyannis at the 45th Munich Security Conference

Greek Think Tanks

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    Theodore Couloumbis, Untying the Middle East Gordian Knot, RealClearWorld, December 2008. In an article appearing at Real Clear World, Athens University professor emeritus of international relations and vice-president at the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (www.eliamep.gr), Theodore Couloumbis, together with coauthors Bill Ahlstrom and Gary Weaver reflect on the Middle East issue. Acknowledging the recent renewed interest in peace proposals, the authors begin by referring to the seeming intent of the new American Administration to engage anew in the negotiations process, however, not “without undercuts.” The authors argue that a solution of “two viable and mutually recognized states” is an advisable formula, the fruits of which, however, will not be reaped unless its use is combined with normalization of relations with other direct and indirect actors implicated. Once the territorial issues are resolved, the groundwork to consolidate prosperity in the region in the way Europe achieved it after WWII will have been laid. ELIAMEP Blogs: Theodore A. Couloumbis’s Recent Articles More Hellenic Opinion Articles, Papers and Sources: Greece – Media Info: Major Think Tanks

Athens / Photo Exhibition: The Modern Arab World

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The Modern Arab World” photographers exhibition at the Benaki Museum, Athens, records the rise and catalytic effect of ever increasing information media in the Islamic world, the Western influence on the lifestyle of the local communities, as well as everyday life experiences in the Middle East. The exhibition, designed the Beetroot Design Group,  is taking place within the framework of anniversary events to celebrate twenty years of operation for Apeiron Photos.  The Benaki Museum collection of Islamic art, includes examples of all Islamic art local variations from as far as India, Persia, Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, the Middle East, Arabia, Egypt, North Africa, Sicily and Spain, and ranks among the most important in the world.

Exploring Greece: Mount Athos

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    In 587 A.D., a Byzantine monk named John Moschos set off from Mount Athos in Greece, traveling around the eastern Mediterranean. William Dalrymple’s book “From the Holy Mountain” is a memorable historical journey through the twilight of Eastern Christianity, heartfelt and beautifully told. He is following in the 1,400-year-old path of Friar Moschos and a young student trekked across the Middle East, collecting precious relics and manuscripts from obscure monasteries. Dalrymple’s quest is similar; he is preserving the stories of the last generation of Orthodox Christians in the Middle East.

Greece: The Cultural Agenda

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)               Festivals
The Rockwave Festival, a musical event held every summer in Athens, has established its reputation since its inception 12 years ago. This year, Terra Vibe Park opens its gates and prepares its two stages on July 8, 9 and 10 to host a line up of more than thirty Greek and international artists for all music tastes from metal to pop. Headliners in 2008 are The Offspring, Manu Chao and Judas Priest.  Continue reading

Karamanlis Receives Middle East Leaders in Athens

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  On the occasion of Socialist International’s 23rd Congress, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli former prime minister and current minister of defence Ehud Barak, are in Athens. Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis and Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis had separate meetings on Tuesday with both of them. The two Middle East leaders were also received by main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou who was recently re-elected President of the Socialist International. No statements followed the discussions, although Bakoyannis has expressed in the past Greece’s ardent interest in contributing to the Middle East peace process. Athens News Agency : PM meets with Abbas, Barak; Ministry of Foreign Affairs: The Middle East Question/ The Middle East Peace Process