NEWS

Papandreou meets with Powell, Rice

WASHINGTON – Foreign Minister George Papandreou met separately late yesterday with US Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and pledged Greece’s full cooperation in the global fight against terrorism. In return, the US officials asked that Greece contribute, through tighter security, to the prevention of terrorist attacks and the location of suspects. We accept this exhortation, Papandreou said, adding that Greece’s cooperation was a given and that the two countries were already exchanging information on suspects. Powell and Rice also thanked Greece for its operational assistance. In the framework of its obligations as a NATO member, Greece has opened its airspace to US Air Force planes, who also use Greek US and NATO bases for refueling. Papandreou remarked to Powell and Rice that cooperation against terrorism paved the way for a concerted solution to regional conflicts in the Middle East, the Balkans and Cyprus that were sources of geopolitical instability. He informed them of the results of his trip to Russia, Germany and Belgium, the country holding the EU’s rotating presidency, focusing on the measures already taken to combat terrorism and the desire, expressed by all countries, for closer cooperation. Papandreou also met with the State Department’s Special Coordinator on Cyprus, Tom Weston, and several leading senators.