Talks on NATO security

NATO’s secretary-general, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, met with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and other senior officials in Athens yesterday, for talks that focused on security that the alliance will help provide during the Olympics. Operational planning for the help that NATO will provide during the Games in August, which include air cover from AWACS planes and naval patrols, has been completed by the headquarters at Mons and Naples. All that remains to be done is to finalize rules of engagement and to make the final adjustments to legislation that is being drawn up jointly by the ministries of Foreign Affairs and the Interior to govern NATO’s contribution. The NATO chief told Karamanlis that he was certain the Games would be «very good and safe,» said government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos. The visiting official himself made no comment after the meeting. Regarding the cost of NATO’s help, officials in Brussels say that the customary principle will apply, which means that the concerned countries and the alliance pay. Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis briefed de Hoop Scheffer on developments on Cyprus. Roussopoulos denied that Greece had been asked to contribute troops to Iraq if NATO took a wider role there. Defense Minister Spilios Spiliotopoulos said the question had not been raised.