21 September, 2006
Greece's goals during the presidency of the United Nations Security Council were outlined during a press conference on Wednesday by Greek foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos, who has accompanied Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis to the UN.
According to Koumoutsakos, Greece has two main goals during its month-long presidency: to facilitate the resolution of various international and regional issues to the best of its ability and to promote Greece's image as a modern democracy.
Though a final tally of Greece's performance in the rotating presidency will be made at the end of September - and of its contribution as a non-permanent member of the Security Council at the end of the year - positive steps had been recognized and recorded concerning the way Greece exercised the presidency, he added.
"Our participation on the Security Council is diplomatic capital for our country," he told reporters.
Regarding Greece's initiative for a discussion of the Arab-Israeli conflict by the Security Council, the spokesman said that this effort was "respected, because Greece is a reliable interlocutor, it has no selfish interests in the region and is genuinely interested in solving this major international issue."
Echoing earlier statements by Bakoyannis, Koumoutsakos repeated that Greece had "begun a very difficult effort to help begin the peace process once again" and said that the Greek proposal had the support of EU member-states.
He also announced that Bakoyannis, during her meetings on Tuesday with the foreign ministers of Syria, Egypt, Iran and Russia, had received invitations to visit those countries.
On Wednesday, the Greek foreign minister will chair a Security Council discussion proposed by the Greek presidency on "Challenges of cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations and other intergovernmental bodies in maintaining international peace and security".
Source: Athens News Agency