Alternate DM addresses SEECP meeting

There are two axes that lead to the cementing of security in the region, the first being enhancement of the relations among the SEECP and the international community and acceleration of the efforts of the countries wishing to join the EU or NATO, Greek alternate defence minister Panos Beglitis said Tuesday, addressing a meeting of the SEECP defence ministers in the Montenegrin city of Budva.

Although the 'odyssey to Ithaca' entails difficulties, incorporation in the Euro-Atlantic family is of great importance for the peoples of SE Europe, as it creates a safe framework for peace and stability in the region.

Greece, he said, fully aware of the fact that regional security and stability are indelibly connected with internal security, commits itself to the prospect of all the Balkan countries joining the EU, and in that respect Greek prime minister George Papandreou launched the "2014 Agenda".

The second axis for consolidating security in the region is joint regional initiatives and participation in the necessary international peacekeeping missions aiming at minimizing the last remaining spots of destabilisation, and the development of mutual trust and cooperation, Beglitis said.

He noted that deterrence and security, in the face of new risks such as "cyber threats" (electronic crime and internet attacks), can no longer be based exclusively on the traditional weapons of tanks, bombings and missiles, and therefore "new, effective mechanisms and tools" need to be developed.

One of the most significant matters for the security of the SEECP countries is prevention of prospective threats through an efficient exchange of information.

He also noted the economic aspect of security, "which has been affected by the economic crisis" and has led countries, "due to reduced defence spending", to seek out economically effective ways to develop and maintain the required security abilities.

In that direction, it is urgently necessary for the SEECP countries to exhaust all prospects of cooperation by setting out priorities, coordinating efforts, where possible, and sharing the potential in a series of sectors such as training maneuvers, confrontation of natural or man-made disasters, and climate change, Beglitis elaborated.

He noted that the SEECP has enhanced the security, political dialogue and cooperation among its member countries, which have also committed themselves to resolving their differences peacefully and to cooperation in relevant initiatives, which is of major importance and perhaps the most important contribution to a secure environment, given that no country can on its own tackle today's complex problems.

Greece, he stressed, under the aegis of the UN, participates in all the peace missions in the Balkans for ensuring peace, stability and prosperity, adding that we aim to adhere to this commitment to the end.

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