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Briefing of diplomatic correspondents by Foreign Ministry spokesman Gregory Delavekouras

Thursday, 09 December 2010

Mr. Delavekouras: Good morning. I’ll start with the programme of the political leadership.

At 15:30 today, Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas will meet with Canadian International Trade Minister Peter Van Loan, who is on a two-day visit to our country.

On Saturday, 11 December, Mr. Droutsas will be in Sofia to participate in a trilateral meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Greece, Serbia and Bulgaria. The three Ministers will discuss the European perspective of the Western Balkans and other issues of regional interest.

On the morning of Monday, 13 December, Mr. Droutsas will attend a working breakfast hosted by Prime Minister Papandreou for his Hungarian counterpart.

On Monday and Tuesday, 13 and 14 December, Mr. Droutsas and Alternate Foreign Minister Mariliza Xenogiannakopoulou will be in Brussels to participate in the proceedings of the EU General Affairs and Foreign Affairs Councils (GAC/FAC).

The Foreign Affairs Council will look at relations with strategic partners, the Middle East peace process – where we will have the opportunity to brief our partners on the recent visit from the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mr. Abbas – the results of the OSCE Summit Meeting, and EU foreign policy priorities for 2011.

The General Affairs Council agenda will include preparations for the important European Council on 16 and 17 December, preparations for the special European Council on 4 February 2011, as well as issues pertaining to enlargement and the EU 2020 strategy.

Finally, on 16 and 17 December, Mr. Droutsas and Ms. Xenogiannakopoulou will participate in the Ministerial meeting on the Eastern partnership, which will take place before the FAC.

As of yesterday, and through Friday, 10 December, Deputy Foreign Minister Kouvelis will be participating in the UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico. Representing the Greek BSEC Chairmanship at a special event on Thursday, 9 December, he will present the BSEC member states’ Joint Declaration on Confronting Climate Change, which was adopted at the BSEC Ministerial in Thessaloniki on 26 November 2010.

There will also be a press conference at which Mr. Kouvelis will present the initiatives carried out during the Greek BSEC Chairmanship, as well as the Mediterranean Initiative for Climate Change.

On 13 and 14 December, Mr. Kouvelis will be in Cuba, where he will have bilateral meetings.

Deputy Foreign Minister Dollis has been in Australia since 7 December, and he will be there through 17 December. He will be visiting Adelaide, Sidney, Canberra and Melbourne, and he will have meetings with government officials and Greek community organizations.

On 13 December, Secretary General Zepos will meet in Athens with U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Kaidanow, and on 15 December he will be in Warsaw for political consultations with the Polish Deputy Foreign Minister and other Polish Foreign Ministry officials.

The Foreign Ministry’s Secretary General for International Economic Relations and Development Cooperation will be in Israel from 13 to 15 December, heading a 35-member mission of Greek enterprises and agencies active in the sectors of environmental technology and construction (renewable energy sources, management of solid urban waste, effluent and water resources), information and communication technology, and biotechnology. This mission is being organized by the Commercial Affairs office of the Greek Embassy in Tel Aviv – in close cooperation with the agency “Invest in Greece”, the Manufacturers Association of Israel and the Association of Israeli Chambers of Commerce.

Meetings are also being scheduled for Secretary General Papadopoulos with Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Ami Ayalon, the Secretary General of the Israeli Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor, Mr. Sharon Kedmi, as well as Israeli Foreign Ministry officials.

That’s it for the programmes. Your questions, please.

Ms. Ristovska: I would like to ask about Mr. Milososki’s letter to Mr. Droutsas, whether you have already answered the letter, and your comment on the letter. Thank you.

Mr. Delavekouras: We learned of the letter through the press, and we later learned its precise content, when it finally reached its recipient. It is a letter that we are assessing, but just the manner in which it was conveyed indicates, I think, that it is of a PR nature rather than being of substance. However, we will assess it and decide whether we need to reply.

Any other questions?

Thank you.