01 April, 2006
Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valinakis held talks at noon on Friday with U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Bryza, focusing on issues of mutual interest, developments in the region of southeastern Europe and Euro-Atlantic relations in general.
"The European prospect of our neighborhood is very important for both the United States and the European Union, because with this prospect there will be a neighborhood of stability, cooperation and prosperity in southeastern Europe, which is in the interests of all," Valinakis said after the talks.
"We are speaking about the changing of our neighborhood, of the Balkans, of southeastern Europe, into a European neighborhood, given that almost all the countries in the region are proceeding, each one with different speeds of course, towards Euro-Atlantic incorporation. This means that in order to get there they must fulfill all the conditions, preconditions and prerequisites first which have been set by the European Union and have been described clearly in relevant texts," he added.
Valinakis further pointed out that these countries' European prospect "will produce opportunities for all, not only those bordering with our neighborhood but in general for all the countries that can participate in the new European neighborhood of cooperation and prosperity."
Energy-related issues and Greece's role as a regional energy transport hub dominated talks here on Friday morning between Deputy Foreign Minister Evripides Stylianidis and visiting US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Matthew Bryza.
Stylianis said after the meeting that their talks centered on the construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline.
The deputy minister said the Greek side briefed Bryza on the progress of work of the pipeline and on the expediency of the project, which gives new opportunities for the refueling of the international market from one further network and operates complementary in the flow of oil through the Bosporus Straits.
Deputy Foreign Minister Stylianidis reiterated to his American interlocutor that the Greek side views as particularly important the participation of U.S. companies in the construction of the oil pipeline.
Source: Athens News Agency