Greece hosts EU-Arab conference on security, stability

Athens, Sep 9 (IANS) The first Rhodes Conference for Security and Stability in the Mediterranean, an initiative of the Greek Foreign Ministry, opened on Thursday with the participation of high-ranking officials from 14 European and Arab states.

On the agenda of the two-day forum are current major common challenges such as terrorism and the refugee crisis, Xinhua news agency reported.

The aim of the conference is to build new bridges and pave ground for closer cross-border collaboration in the political, economic and cultural levels to resolve common problems, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias was quoted as saying.

Collective and coordinated cooperation to end wars in Libya, Iraq and Syria and find peaceful and long-lasting solutions to the Kurdish and the Palestinian issues, is the only way forward to address terrorism and the refugee flows, Kotzias and other delegates argued, Greek national news agency AMNA reported.

In order to effectively deal with the challenges, Athens proposed deeper collaboration of intelligence services and police forces against terrorism and organised crime networks.

The conference is held a few hours before Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras welcomes the leaders of Mediterranean countries in Athens to discuss the same common challenges in addition of the economic crisis.

–IANS

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