18 February, 2009
Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis will visit the United States on Feb. 22 in her capacity as Greek foreign minister and chairperson of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
The visit will be launched on Monday, Feb. 23 in Washington D.C., where she will address the Brookings Institution, on the issue of "Collective Security in the 21st Century - Building New Bridges".
On Tuesday, Bakoyannis will meet with the president and members of the Helsinki Committee on OSCE issues.
Later on the same day, she will meet with the chairman and members of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations followed by a meeting with the chairman and members of the US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs.
On Feb. 25, she will meet with her counterpart, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and attend a reception in her honor by US Under Secretary for Political Affairs William Burns.
The second part of her visit will concern contacts in New York to be announced later on Tuesday.
The foreign minister's meetings will focus on OSCE issues as well as on issues of mutual interest, both international and regional, such as the Middle East and the Caucasus. Additionally, issues of Greek interest, including the situation in the Balkans, relations with Turkey and the Cyprus issue will be discussed, according to foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos.
"Greek-US relations can acquire a new substance, depth and width," Koumoutsakos said, adding that the new US government allows for realism and hope.
Referring to a meeting Bakoyannis will have on Wednesday in Athens with US Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois and Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, Koumoutsakos it is "a positive development" that allows for direct briefing on issues of major interest for Greece.