OPINION

Opinion

Developments are constantly unfolding and Greece cannot afford to become isolated. Athens has to take immediate action and make its presence felt. If sending Greek troops to Afghanistan is seen as a difficult task politically – even if their purpose would not be to take part in military operations but rather to participate in an international peacekeeping operation – the Greek government could offer medical help and mobilize humanitarian initiatives… Whatever action is taken has to be presented as a contribution to the international alliance. Any action will be appreciated by the UN, the USA and the European states which are taking part in the campaign while they will also be embraced by the Greek public. Another necessary move that would reinforce what has been portrayed as Greece’s leading role in the Balkans is the deployment of Greek soldiers with NATO’s peacekeeping forces in Bosnia and Kosovo to replace American troops which are likely to be moved to Afghanistan or elsewhere. Besides, Washington makes no secret of its intention of gradually pulling out of the Balkans, leaving the handling of the situation to Europe. Finally,. .. Greece should capitalize on its relations with Syria and Iran. Foreign Minister George Papandreou’s recent visits to Damascus and Tehran were a move in the right direction. They took place at a domestic level. It remains to be seen whether they will yield any benefits internationally. It is indeed a sorry sight to see such a bill presented as the fruit of the political labors of nine responsible ministries, of which the Aegean Ministry is is conspicuous by its absence.