12 December, 2005
The solution to the Kosovo issue should lead to stabilization in Serbia and in the broader region, Greek Ambassador to the US Alexandros Mallias said during a working luncheon held in his honor by the Fund for American Studies in Washington on Friday, December 9.
Stability in the Balkans requires the cooperation of the European Union and the United States, Mallias added.
He highlighted the role Greece can play to this end, noting that 3,500 Greek companies have invested a total of $8 billion and have created 200,000 jobs in a region plagued by high unemployment (30% - 40%), while 800 Greek soldiers are part of the KFOR mission in Kosovo.
Mallias termed 2006 as 'the year of the Balkans' when pending issues will hopefully be resolved, especially the one regarding Kosovo's status.
Regarding the long-standing dispute between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) over the latter's name, Mallias said that within the context of seeking agreed-upon solutions in the Balkans, a solution - mutually acceptable to both sides - must be found.
According to Mallias, the proposal made by former UN Mediator Matthew Nimetz last March is a good basis for negotiations.
The event was organized on occasion of the 10th anniversary of an educational program that the Fund for American Studies launched in Greece, which has hosted 800 students and young politicians from the Balkans, the Middle East and the US in cooperation with the Greek Association for Atlantic and European Cooperation.
Source: Athens News Agency