Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Cabinet touches on foreign policy issues, EU Reform Treaty
PHOTO: Karamanlis and Bush
Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Tuesday chaired a meeting of the Inner Cabinet focusing on foreign policy issues, especially the reform treaty for creating a European Union Constitution.
After the meeting, Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis said she had briefed the Cabinet in detail on the progress made on the Reform Treaty, saying the issue was "heading for a happy ending". She predicted that many months of work leading to the Reform Treaty would be approved by EU leaders at the upcoming informal summit in Lisbon, saying that it would allow Europe to turn a new page with the treaty in force. "We hope that this will happen before the end of the year, so that 2008 will be the year for the ratification of the new European Reform Treaty and the start of this new page, which will essentially be completed with the European elections of 2009," the minister said.
Another issue addressed during the meeting was Greece's dispute with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) over the latter's name, and results of her talks with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana on the specific issue a day earlier, Bakoyannis reported. "Apart from this, our positions on the FYROM issue are known and we have no new developments," she added. The foreign minister also clarified that the convening a council of political party leaders had not been discussed by the Cabinet.
"The Greek side has made clear that what it wants is to find a mutually acceptable solution, a mutually acceptable name, one that will allow both countries to set their relations on a new path and enter a better period," Bakoyannis stressed. Apart from the above, she added, the meeting on Tuesday focused on Kosovo and other issues of regional interest, in addition to a series of issues concerning Greek foreign policy.

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