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Rasmussen in Greece for two days

29 August 2009 / 16:08:39  GRReporter
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Rasmussen paid a two-day visit to Greece during which he had meetings with the Foreign Affairs Minister Dora Backoyanni, the Minister of defense Evangelos Meymarakis and the prime minister Kostas Karamanlis. The topics under discussion have been the NATO missions in Afghanistan and Kosovo, fighting piracy at the African seaside, NATO-Russia and the encouragement of launching the dialog for European security.

At the meeting on Friday the prime-minister Karamanlis appealed for Russia and NATO to continue their relationship.

According to Greece, discrepancies in their positions should not let the two parties break their cooperation.

"We fully agree that the efforts of the alliance should be focused on improving Russia and NATO relationships," said Karamanlis and reminded about the agreement reached in Corfu in June about renewing the work of Russia-NATO council after almost two years' brake, caused by the dissention regarding the events in South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Greece stands its position that the negotiations should begin immediately, as well as the process of constructive cooperation and dialogs, including discussion of controversial topics," said the Greek prime minister.

On the other hand, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen demanded that Athens and Ankara reach a consensus on the Cyprus issue, addressing the complications it has caused in the cooperation of NATO and EU.

The new Secretary General of NATO also required from Athens to settle the conflict with the name of the former Yugoslavian Republic so Macedonia can join the Alliance, and stated that Greece is likely to have an important role on the Balkans and in the Euro-Atlantic perspective in the future.

Later on Friday Anders Fogh Rasmussen left for Ankara.

Dilyana Ivanova

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