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FM spokesman briefed press on regional foreign policy issues

Δημοσίευση 21 Ιανουαρίου 2011, 12:03 / Ανανεώθηκε 27 Ιουνίου 2013, 14:55
FM spokesman briefed press on regional foreign policy issues
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Foreign Ministry spokesman Grigoris Delavekouras on Thursday briefed the press on a series of foreign policy and regional issues affecting Greece, while also taking questions.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Grigoris Delavekouras on Thursday briefed the press on a series of foreign policy and regional issues affecting Greece, while also taking questions.

As regards a reported recent statement by former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYRoM) Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski -- who predicted failure of an upcoming meeting (Feb. 2) in New York between Athens' and Skopje's representatives to discuss the "name issue" -- the spokesman merely noted that this “shows a lack of focus on efforts to find a solution within the UN framework”.

Responding to a relevant question, he stressed that the leader of the neighbouring country “has the future of his country in his hands ... he is responsible for the choices that will be made”.

Referring to bilateral relations with neighbouring Albania, he stated that they are “fluctuating”, while nevertheless reminding that “Greece supports the European course of Albania which, after all, is our ally in NATO”.

Delavekouras said Albania's smooth course towards the EU expectedly means that the Tirana government respects the Union's principles and values.

"The (ethnic Greek) minority will have to be protected and its sense of security should be reinforced” within the framework of Albania’s EU course, he said, noting that a census “conducted in compliance with EU standards” is still pending.

Responding to a question on the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) delimitation issue, the foreign ministry spokesman stressed that Greece “seeks to define sea zones with its neighbors”.

He cited the complication that emerged with Albania after a ruling by that country’s constitutional court, while referring to Libya and Egypt, he stressed that relevant talks are moving forward. As per Cyprus, the level of bilateral relations is such that the relevant procedure is expected to take place as soon as a joint decision is reached.

Asked about EU member-states' Romania and Bulgaria, he expressed a hope that the process for their accession into the Schengen Pact will be completed soon. He pointed out that the extension of the EU Strategy of the Danube Region to the western Balkans and participation of the region’s countries in the relevant process will be a useful step toward a closer cooperation with the EU.

Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas will visit Montenegro on Jan. 26-27 for bilateral contacts and to attend an informal meeting of the SE European foreign ministers, the spokesman stated.

During his stay in Podgorica, the Greek foreign minister will unveil Athens’ proposal for an EU-Western Balkans summit meeting during the Greek EU presidency to renew the European strategy in the region.

“The peoples in the region should re-examine the benefits of future EU accession; for example, through cross-border cooperation programmes or infrastructure projects in the region." He also added that the vision for the prosperity in the Balkans should be renewed.

Referring to the "Agenda 2014" initiative, he underlined the importance of utilising dates and symbols, such as the 100th anniversary of the beginning of WWI, which erupted in the western Balkans.

Finally, as regards an invitation extended to the Greek foreign minister to attend a luncheon of the Arab League ambassadors hosted by the ambassador of Lebanon to Athens on Friday, Delavekouras stated that an in-depth discussion will be held on regional issues, while he referred to “the serious political crisis in Lebanon” and Greece’s stance to actively support efforts for the Mideast country’s “stability and independence”.