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02 April, 1998
Prime Minister Costas Simitis will travel to London today at the head of a delegation representing Greece at a European Union-Asian countries summit, set to begin in the British capital.
The premier yesterday chaired a meeting to prepare for the summit, as well as for a special European Union summit in Brussels in early May, which will take final decisions for the third phase of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), commencing on Jan. 1, 1 999.
The meeting was attended by National Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou, Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou and Foreign Deputy Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis, among others.
Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos was unable to attend due to illness.
After the meeting, Mr. Papandreou told reporters the Europe-Asia summit was particularly important, while he underlined Greece's active contribution to tightening Euro-Asian relations.
The 10 Southeast Asian countries which are to meet with the EU include Japan, China and South Korea.
The meeting will be chaired by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, while it will also be attended by European Commission President Jacques Santer.
Issues on the agenda include mainly economic and political cooperation between Europe and Asia, followed by issues dealing with the environment, employment and child prostitution.
One of the questions that needs to be addressed is whether cooperation between the two sides can be furthered without provoking reactions on the part of the United States.
Nevertheless, declarations by the EU and Asia do not give rise to such problems, as they place emphasis on the main principles of cooperation, as well as on opening up markets and backing the international monetary system.
Source: Athens News Agency