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Russia honours Polish director Andrzej Wajda

Polish film director Andrzej Wajda has been awarded an Order of Friendship by Russian president Dmitri Medvedev, the Kremlin informed Tuesday.
The Order of Friendship is one of the highest Russian distinctions.
Kremlin spokesmen said Wajda was granted the Order for his contributions to Russian-Polish cultural ties.
Wajda, 84, one of the founders of the so-called “Polish film school” in the 1950s and 60s, won world fame with his epic works Man of Marble and Man of Iron, in which he criticized Stalinism. Wajda has received numerous international awards for his films, including a lifework Oscar in 2000.
Earlier this year Wajda’s film Katyn about 1940 mass executions of Poles in Katyn Forest, west Russia, evoked broad reactions in Russia. Wajda said at the time that he had been personally involved in the film as his father had been among  the Katyn victims.
(PAP, 11/8/2010)

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New era in Greek-Turkish relations

» High Level Cooperation

Premier George Papandreou and Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan expressed their will to take important steps towards the improvement of Greek-Turkish relations, as the Turkish leader wrapped up an official visit to Athens on Saturday.
This was sealed with the opening session of the Greece-Turkey High Level Cooperation Council and the signing of 21 agreements.
George Papandreou met with the chiefs of Turkish media, while Erdogan with the chiefs of the Greek newspapers.
The Greek premier told Turkish journalists that Erdogan’s visit heralds a new era in Greek-Turkish relations, further adding that the two sides had better overcome their differences. He also touched on economic cooperation between Athens and Ankara.

» “We have an agreement”

Twenty-one cooperation agreements in fields as diverse as technology and tourism were signed during the Turkey-Greece High Level Cooperation Council.
Ministers signed agreements boosting trade, investments and shipping and the two countries will hereby extend their cooperation in projects concerning infrastructure works and transnational transport networks.
Relations between the two countries in the field of immigration will be governed by a bilateral agreement which provides for readmission of illegal immigrant flows to Turkey and cooperation in the fight against organized crime, trafficking and civil protection.
Both sides agreed to improve tourism cooperation, aiming at increasing their market share in countries with economic potential such as China, as well as raising global awareness on matters of cultural heritage protection.

Special attention was given to education and synergies concerning research. Environment protection and joint ventures in energy projects including renewable energy sources and the existing Turkey- Greece-Italy gas pipeline were also sealed with respective deals.
In terms of strengthening bilateral ties,  a Joint Political Declaration on the establishment of the High Level Cooperation Council as well as a Protocol on regular political consultations between the two countries’ foreign ministries were signed.

» Signing the Olympic Truce

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan concluded on Saturday his landmark visit to Athens by signing the Olympic Truce initiative.

At a brief ceremony in front of the imposing Panathenaic Stadium, Erdogan referred to the “great honour in signing my name in this book; to put my signature for a world of peace.”
Papandreou said that Turkey’s support for the idea sends out a clear message “by Turkey and Greece to the world,” adding that Greece will actively support Istanbul’s bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games.
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

Greece: Waking the Dragon

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias arrived in Beijing on Sunday, for a five-day visit to China. Papoulias, who has already met with President Hu Jintao and the premier Wen Jiambao, commented on China’s “tremendous economic and political role” and was very satisfied to see bilateral relations reaching “the highest levels of cordiality and friendship”. Bilateral agreements focused on matters of justice, foreign aid cooperation, tourism, culture, international affairs such as climate change, as well as on educational issues.  Continue reading