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Friday, March 04, 2011

ICJ:Greece&FYROM;Turkey-Greek FMs;Cyprus talks;Israeli gas;Russia's oil;Kosovo:drug route;Patriarch Irinej,Met Jonah meet

The International Court of Justice in the Hague, Netherlands, is schedule for public debate between Greece and FYROMacedonia on March 21. Greek Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Grigoris Delavekouras said that Greece is well prepared for debate in the proceedings that Macedonia instituted against Athens and Greece will prove Skopje violated the 1995 interim agreement. No word on whether this outcome would or could influence the name issue talks under the auspices of the United Nations.

On March 8, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is expected in Athens for a three-day official visit. Speaking to recent protest in occupied north Cyprus, Greek foreign ministry spokesman Grigoris Delavekouras officially said that "the occupation army and the settlers have created a huge pressure on Turkish Cypriots, obstructing a solution and making their future more difficult". He added that Turkey should allow all the people of Cyprus to enjoy the benefits of the country's accesion to the European Union.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is concerned at the slow pace of Cyprus reunification talks, warning that they cannot drag on indefinitely. Ban said that he would meet both sides, but only to hear ways they resolve differences. "The moment hsa come to confront hard choices," he said. Turkey invaded Cyprus's in 1974, splitting the island among its Greek and Turkish Cypriots. Cyprus joined the EU in 2004.

Natural gas from Israeli's offshore Tamar field may be headed to markets in both Cyprus and Jordan. Shell offered the Cyprus a 20-year supply contract for liquefied natural gas. Greek officials also started talks with Israeli officials about transporting gas from the offshore Leviathan field to European markets. Israel had depeneded on Egypt and other regional energy giants for natural gas, but that is likely to change.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Friday that Russia should work on overcoming its dependence on oil revenues and dependence on raw materials. "The favorable market situation for our raw materials... must not serve as cause for complacency or an excuse for not taking any action on pressing problems." The prime minister urged his party members to search for new growth points, incentives for industrial development, and ways of enhancing "national competitiveness."

In the U.S. State Department 2011 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, which was sent to the U.S. Congress, due to "porous borders and corruption among the Kosovo Border Police and Customs officers," Kosovo is facing "challenges in combating narcotics trafficking." Though Kosovo is not a signifcant narcotics producer, the report read, "Kosovo is primarily a transit country for Afghan heroin transiting from Turkey and for cocaine and marijuana coming throug the Albanian and Montenegrin ports destined for Europe... [and] due to the issue of statehood status and a sense of mistrust in the Kosovo police, there has been hestitation by surrounding countries to conduct joint investigations with Kosovo authorities." The State Department added said it supported Serbian government efforts to combat drug smuggling and "will continue to support efforts of the Serbian police forces against drug smuggling in the country and in the region.”

His Holiness, Patriarch Irinej, the Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade-Karlovci, and Serbian Patriarch, met with His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah, as well other Orthodox Church in America hierarchs at Saint Sava Monastery in Libertyvile, Illinois earlier this week. Patriarch Irinej shared his views on a wide range of topics, including the role of the Orthodox Church in America in an increasingly secular society, as well as the situation of the Serbian Church in Kosovo. Patriarch Irinej, who was elected successor to His Holiness, the late Patriarch Pavle on January 22, 2010.