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31 December, 1997
Neighboring countries have accepted Greece's active role in efforts to resolve problems in Bosnia as well as Athens' role in bridging the gap between the region and the European Union.
These were some conclusions drawn following National Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos' official visit in Bosnia recently.
The Greek defense minister on Monday arrived in Tirana immediately after leaving Sarajevo.
In Albania, he met yesterday with the President Rexhep Mejdani, Prime Minister Fatos Nano and his counterpart Sabit Brokaj.
Mr. Tsohatzopoulos also met with Archbishop of Tirana and All Albania Anastasios and Foreign Minister Paskal Milo, while on Monday evening he visited the 204 troops of the Greek military contingent stationed outside Tirana.
Additionally, he inaugurated the Tirana military hospital, since its new wing was built and equipped by the Hellenic Air Force general staff.
During a press conference, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said that Greece, Albania, Bulgaria and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) should form a "collective body" as a force of security in the Balkans.
Greece, as well as Albania, Bulgaria and FYROM should take the initiative for the establishment of such a regional body for collective security".
He added that on the basis of that initiative, Greece will go ahead with organizing new meetings, similar to the summit of Balkan leaders last November on Crete.
Commenting on his contacts with his Albanian counterpart Brokaj, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said discussion focused on the successful cooperation between the two countries' armed forces, which as he said was not of an opportunistic nature.
Source: Athens News Agency