NEWS

Athens in talks over peace deal

Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis stepped up her diplomatic contacts in New York yesterday ahead of a possible United Nations Security Council vote later this week on a resolution to end the hostility between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon. Bakoyannis had telephone conversations with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her French counterpart Philippe Douste-Blazy. She also met with Israeli and Lebanese diplomats as Greece pursues its aim of trying to get an immediate ceasefire in the region. Foreign Ministry spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos said that Greece was trying to generate the broadest possible consensus. Greece is a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council and is due to take over the presidency of the group on September 1. Although the Security Council is not likely to vote on a resolution on the Middle East crisis until later this week, Koumoutsakos defended Bakoyannis’s decision to fly to New York on Monday, saying that Athens wanted to be fully informed of the latest developments.