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29 November, 2000
Greece's public order minister arrived here on Tuesday for talks with Yugoslavia's leadership regarding joint efforts to combat organized crime and illegal immigration.
Minister Mihalis Chrysohoidis also proposed the signing of an agreement for bilateral law enforcement cooperation, akin to pacts Greece has with another 35 countries in the world. According to reports, the proposal was well received by the new Kostunica government.
Chrysohoidis was received by, among others, Yugoslav Interior Minister Zoran Zivkovic and transitional Serbian government deputy president Stefan Nikcevic.
The latest trip by a key Greek minister to Belgrade in the wake of Slobodan Milosevic's election defeat and a new federal government led by Vojislav Kostunica falls in line with Athens' recently enunciated policy of bolstering Yugoslavia's post-Milosevic reconstruction.
The Greek minister echoed Athens' newly invigorated support for Belgrade -- a traditional Balkan ally -- in his statements, adding that any law enforcement cooperation pact will include initiatives envisioning specialized training for Yugoslav personnel and efforts to more fully democratize its ranks, as well as tighter patrolling of external borders.
Additionally, Chrysohoidis said Athens would propose that a portion of the Stability Pact, namely, programs funded by Greece's public order ministry, be implemented in Yugoslavia.
On his part, Zivkovic underlined the significance that a return to international organizations and fora entails for the Yugoslav government, while specifically citing Greece's contribution to efforts at reinstating Yugoslavia to Interpol.
Finally, Chrysohoidis told reporters that he was briefed by his Yugoslav counterpart on a series of recent attacks in southern Serbia by ethnic Albanians gangs operating from the NATO- and UN-administered province of Kosovo.
Source: Athens News Agency