Der MP Maloney fordert nehmen die Tilerson in Lausanne ein Rütteln Thema Erdogan,

Νέα Υόρκη.- Του Αποστόλη Ζουπανιώτη

Με επιστολή της προς τον υπουργό Εξωτερικών Ρεξ Τίλερσον, η συμπρόεδρος της Ομάδας Ελληνικών Θεμάτων της Βουλής των Αντιπροσώπων, Κάρολιν Μαλόνι, καλεί τον επικεφαλής του Στέιτ Ντιπάρτμεντ να επιβεβαιώσει την υποστήριξη των ΗΠΑ προς την Συνθήκη της Λωζάννης του 1923, μετά την εισήγηση του προέδρου της Τουρκίας, Ταγίπ Ερντογάν ότι θα πρέπει να τύχει επαναδιαπραγμάτευσης.

Στην επιστολή της η βουλευτής Μαλόνι υποστηρίζει «οι Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες πρέπει να καταστήσουν σαφές ότι οι εδαφικοί όροι της Συνθήκης δεν είναι διαπραγματεύσιμοι και ότι δεν θα δεχθούν την τουρκική υποκίνηση συνοριακών διαφορών σε μια περιοχή που είναι ειρηνική για σχεδόν 100 χρόνια».

Εκφράζει παράλληλα την άποψη ότι το άνοιγμα συνοριακής διαμάχης για εδάφη που διευθετήθηκαν πριν από περίπου 100 χρόνια είναι μια προκλητική και επικίνδυνη πρόταση.

«Ελπίζω ότι οι Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες θα κάνουν ό, τι είναι δυνατόν για να αποθαρρύνουν την Τουρκία να ακολουθήσει αυτή τη γραμμή διπλωματίας», καταλήγει η επιστολή της αμερικανίδας βουλευτή.

Dear Secretary Tillerson,

As co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues, I was concerned by news reports that indicate that, during a recent visit to Greece, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested that it would be appropriate to reopen discussions of border issues settled in the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne. I understand that President Erdogan stated in an interview with the Greek daily Kathimerini and reiterated at a press conference with the Greek president that there should be an ‘update’ to the Lausanne Treaty. He also reportedly expressed his view that the treaty was unfair because it assigned islands to Greece that are situated close to Turkey’s shores. In my view, opening a border dispute over territories settled nearly 100 years ago is a provocative and dangerous suggestion, and I hope that the United States will do everything in its power to discourage Turkey from pursuing this line of diplomacy.

I represent a large community of Greek-Americans who are deeply unsettled by the possibility that Turkey may claim land that has been recognized as Greek for nearly a century. Wie Sie wissen, Greece first demanded its independence from Turkey starting on March 25, 1821 nach 400 years of Ottoman rule. While many parts of Greece won independence in 1829, border disputes continued until after World War I. The Treaty of Lausanne, considered the final treaty concluding World War I, established the final borders of Turkey after the fall of the Ottoman Empire and designated the Dodecanese Islands to Greece. Turkey is now insinuating that the Treaty should be reopened and perhaps that some of those islands should be allocated to Turkey. I believe the United States should make clear that the territorial terms of the Treaty are non-negotiable and that it will not accept Turkish instigation of border disputes in an area that has been peaceful for nearly 100 Jahr.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter. I look forward to hearing your views on this issue.

Lesen Sie mehr auf: Der MP Maloney fordert nehmen die Tilerson in Lausanne ein Rütteln Thema Erdogan,

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2nd Internationale Konferenz über „Religiösen und kulturelle Pluralität und friedliche Koexistenz im Nahen Osten

Athen.- GreekNewsOnline, ANA-MPA

Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos declared the opening of the 2nd International Conference of Athens on “Religious and Cultural Pluralism and Peaceful Coexistence in the Middle East” at the Intercontinental Hotel in Athens on Monday.

In seiner Ansprache, Pavlopoulos stressed the urgent need to sincerely seek the terms and conditions for the continuous support of dialogue between different civilisations, in the context of full respect for cultural and religious pluralism.

According to Greece’s president, conflict and war were a form of logical inconsistency for true civilisation, in which humanism and peace served as “archetypal traits”.

In this context, he argued that “the global turmoil and its risks are not rooted in the clash of civilisations, but in the fact that these civilisations are fading. And precisely because of this fading course they were no longer able to fulfill the natural peace-making mission that their essence determines through their co-existence and co-operation on a global scale.”

The Greek president noted that the conference was extremely timely as eveyone is worried over developments in the Middle East amid an increase of refugee flows, creating conditions of humanitarian crisis, contrary to any sense of civilization and justice.

FM Kotzias

Greece has assumed an important role as the country with the strongest historical and cultural ties within the surrounding region and as a beacon of security and stability, Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, addressing the Conference of Athens.

“The five tripartite initiatives of our country in the region, together with Cyprus, the ‘spirit of Rhodes’ for new security structures, the global initiative for living ancient civilisations and this initiative, as well as the cooperation of the Euromed Seven, constitute the cornerstones of our policy in the region,” he said and added: “Greece has been and is the country that has for thousands of years supported respect for that which is different, tolerance between religions and civilisations, the creative exchange of their achievements, and learning from one another.”

Criticising the large organisations operating in the region, with emphasis on the UN, which does not yet have a comprehensive plan, and the EU, which operates selectively towards states, individuals and minorities rather than the whole region, and in particular religious and cultural communities, the foreign minister made two important proposals: “To table a special resolution in 2018 in the UN and the Human Rights Committee and to include in EU documents the issues that we will be dealing with tomorrow.”

Gleichzeitig, he proposed the further strengthening of the European Observatory, the center for religious pluralism in the Middle East, which was established in the framework of the First International Conference.

The foreign minister underlined that “extremists have committed crimes against people, against religious communities, against our common cultural heritage and have violated values and rights, destroyed historic memories and monuments,” adding that “in our region we must fight for respect toward what is different, especially between Jews and Muslims, Christians and Yazidi, but also between Sunni and Shia Muslims, Kurds and Arabs.”

ALEXIS TSIPRAS

Greece supports strongly efforts to tackle religious extremism and terrorism, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said.

“We support with all our powers tackling religious extremism and terrorism. We support promoting peace, stability and security,", Sagte er.

“We are struggling to make this an issue for the whole international community which is why, through our active role and action in all international fora, we encourage taking drastic diplomatic and economic initiatives in this direction,"Fügte er hinzu.

Tsipras aid Greece cannot remain silent or absent in the presence of challenges affecting the wider region which are increasingly affecting Europe and its core, adding that the country is exercising an energetic, multi-dimensional foreign policy which allows it to utilize its geopolitical position, promote peace and stability and open channels of communication.

“Greece insists on the values of humanism, solidarity and tolerance even in the most difficult times as we proved during the refugee crisis, when Greece shouldered the weight of humanity,", Sagte er.

The conference, which is an initiative of the foreign ministry, is “proof of the important role played by Greece in the wider region, highlighting once again our country’s long-standing culture of dialogue, solidarity and active participation in solving global and regional crises.”

Tsipras said Greece is the only country of the EU and NATO which is also located in southeastern Europe and experienced the consequences of conflicts through the refugee crisis.

“We know, deshalb, very well how important it is to maintain the religious and cultural pluralism in the Middle East for the future of Europe. And the other way round: How important it is for Europe to contribute to peace and stability in the Middle East with determination, but also on the basis of international law and democratic and humanitarian values,"Fügte er hinzu.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

Interfaith cooperation can provide the ground to build peace and normalcy in the East Mediterranean and the Middle East, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew told the second international conference in Athens.

In the first day of the two-day conference, the ecumenical patriarch warned that even if peace is achieved in the region, “the remaining problems will require time and a lot of hard work, as well as joint responsibility, synergy, and collaboration.” The wars in Middle East have “created large-scale destruction in the human, natural, cultural and religious environments,” and interfaith collaboration is vital to handle the continuing religious crisis and heal peoples’ emotional traumas, sagte er.

“Wherever people turn away from or interrupt dialogue,", Sagte er, “what takes over is rigid ideologies, totalitarian regimes, brutal demagoguery, and finally weapons – destruction and death.” The ecumenical patriarch said the alternative was sincere dialogue in a loving spirit. “Sincere dialogue has the power to change the flow of history,” Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew said.

Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt

In regions where religious freedom is not protected, instability, human rights abuses, and violent extremism are more likely to take root, U.s. Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt said on Monday in remarks at the 2nd International Conference on “Religious and Cultural Pluralism and Peaceful Coexistence in the Middle East”, held in Athens.

“As President [Donald] Trump has highlighted, ‘From the beginning, America has been a place that has cherished the freedom of worship…Our goal is to achieve a better tomorrow-one where good people of all faiths, Christians and Muslims and Jewish and Hindu, can follow their hearts and worship according to their conscience,", Sagte er.

Pyatt quoted comments made by State Secretary Rex Tillerson on the presentation of the 2016 International Religious Freedom Annual Report to note US commitment in continuing the country’s work with regional partners to protect religious minority communities from terrorist attacks and to preserve their cultural heritage.

“Where religious freedom is not protected, , fügte er hinzu, we know that instability, human rights abuses, and violent extremism have a greater opportunity to take root,” the ambassador said.

He concluded by presenting a short video message from the US Special Advisor for Religious Minorities in the Near East and South/Central Asia, Knox Thames.

FM IOANNIS KASOULIDES

Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides underlined the need to actively protect social and religious diversity in states, speaking at the 2nd International Conference on “Religious and Cultural Pluralism and Peaceful Coexistence in the Middle East” on Monday in Athens.

He supported the establishment of a fund under international management to help the efforts of societies to not only build their homes from scratch but also their local infrastructure and economies.

He invited the participants to sign the Nicosia Treaty «in order to fight those who vandalise our cultural heritage in order to finance their criminal and terrorist organisations”.

Kasoulides congratulated his Greek counterpart Nikos Kotzias for organising the conference, noting that it was one of the Greek foreign ministry’s many initiatives for promoting dialogue and a positive agenda of cooperation in the wider region. He said that the Athens conference, together with the Conference of Rhodes, have created a web of dialogue and collaboration with tangible results within the region.

Schließlich, Kasoulides referred to the systematic destruction of cultural heritage in Syria and Iraq by Daesh terrorists and underlined that “if we tackle the illegal market in cultural and archaeological treasures, we will strike a blow against those who are profiting from them.”

Lesen Sie mehr auf: 2nd Internationale Konferenz über „Religiösen und kulturelle Pluralität und friedliche Koexistenz im Nahen Osten

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Strategic role of Greece confirmed during Tsipras’ meeting with Trump

U.s. trip was successful, said the Prime Minister of Greece. Hopes for increased U.S. investments and political support

Washington, DC.- (GreekNewsOnline, ANA-MPA)

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras thanked the Greek-American Community for the warm reception it extended to his and the government delegation, during his five-day trip to the US, in a series of tweets after his departure from Washington on Thursday to attend the EU summit in Brussels.

“We had many crucial but chiefly productive and constructive contacts in Chicago and Washington in the days that the Greek delegation was in the USA in the framework of our official visit. I cannot help but single out, jedoch, those with our Greek expatriates that live in the US and for many years now preserve in every way the principles, Werte, traditions and history of our country,” Tsipras wrote.

“Myself personally and the Greek delegation thank you for the warm reception but chiefly for your contribution to our country,"Fügte er hinzu.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Wednesday said he was content with the results of his visit to the US.

“The trip went extremely well, the main goals were achieved,” Tsipras said in a statement to Greek journalists at the Blair House.

He explained that the main targets were achieved, both in terms of institutional contacts, namely with US President Donald Trump and US Vice President Mike Pence, as well as in his contacts with entrepreneurs, Investoren, and Greeks living abroad.

As he said, everyone acknowledged that “Greece is making a comeback.”

“Greece is at a turning point and this is not only reflected in the performance of the economy but also in the investment climate,” he stated.

The interministerial committee for investments held its third meeting at the Maximos Mansion on Thursday, to review Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ visit to the United States in terms of contacts made and investments discussed.

The ministers will review all the meetings held by the premier and his delegation of ministers about American investment opportunities, especially from talks with fund managers and Greek-American leaders.

Tsipras noted that he was impressed by the fact that his contacts with entrepreneurs did not focus on the prior actions and when Greece would implement them, wie in der Vergangenheit, but on the chronic problems that had plagued the Greek economy even before the memoranda, such as dealing with bureaucracy, accelerating judicial decisions and a better functioning of state mechanisms. Something that, as he pointed out, shows that “it is now assumed that reforms have been implemented to a large extent and the country is coming out of the support programmes.”

At the institutional meetings, Tsipras said that Greece had the greatest possible support and stressed the importance of President Trump’s statements on the need to support the exit from the crisis, Greece’s comeback, the very important reforms it has made, as well as his call to investors to trust the Greek economy.

Government sources on Thursday underlined that the messages from Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ visit to the US reflected Greece’s “upgraded role and prestige over the last two and a half years.”

They explained that at the beginning of the crisis Greece had gone through a period of lacking credibility that was considered identical to default and corruption, while now Greece’s position has been upgraded in the international arena.

Asked about the International Monetary Fund’s (IWF) change of stance over the last period, the sources said that the Greek economy has returned to growth and a framework has been set up, based on which the country will meet its fiscal targets. The Fund, fügten sie hinzu, sees it is pointless to insist on forecasts and demands that are proven wrong.

Regarding the debate over a planned upgrade of Greece’s fleet of F16 fighter jets, the same sources said that the Greek economy will be burdened with 1.1 billion euros of the 2.4-billion-euro programme, over a period of ten years.

TSIPRAS – TRUMP

U.s. President Donald Trump said his country supports “responsible debt relief” for Greece to assist in its economic recovery, during a joint press conference with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in the White House Rose Garden on Tuesday.

Trump said talks centered on defense, Energie, commerce and trade and expressed support for reforms and investments in the crisis-hit country.

“We’re also making great strides in our economic cooperation. The American people stand with the Greek people as they recover from the economic crisis that has recently afflicted their nation,” he told the press.

“I’ve encouraged the prime minister in his continued implementation of reforms and I have totally reaffirmed our support for a responsible debt relief plan. A strong and flourishing Greece provides immense opportunity for American trade, investment and job creation.”

The president praised Tsipras’ efforts to turn Greece around noting that Americans are standing next to Greeks as they recover from the crisis. He noted the “long and durable” bilateral relations, adding that the U.S. and Greece have a joint commitment to freedom.

Trump also thanked Greece and its government for hosting U.S. Naval Forces in Souda Bay, Kreta, and for being one of the few countries that keep their military spending above NATO’s target.

“I also commend Greece on being one of the few NATO countries currently spending at least two percent of GDP on defense,", Sagte er.

Commenting on their bilateral talks, he said that Greece has expressed interest in upgrading its fleet of F-16 military jets. “My administration has also informed Congress of a potential sale to Greece to upgrade its F-16 aircraft. This agreement to strengthen the Hellenic Air Force is worth up to 2.4 billion dollars and will generate thousands of American jobs,", Sagte er.

On energy, the president said he appreciates Greek contributions to European energy security through its support of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), the Greece-Bulgaria Interconnector (GBI) and the liquefied natural gas facilities that are capable of transporting diverse sources of energy to Europe, including potential liquefied natural gas exports from the United States.

“These initiatives make both our people safer and create jobs,", Betonte er.

Trump also mentioned the selection of the U.S. as than honouree at next year’s Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF).

“I’m very proud that the United States will be the honoured country at next year’s [Thessaloniki] International Fair in Greece. This historic business and trade exhibition will showcase American technology, enterprise and innovation on the world stage,", Sagte er.

Greek-American relations are at their best, possibly since the Second World War, Tsipras said in his turn at the joint press conference, noting that they are based on mutual respect and are fueled by U.S. support in helping Greece exit the crisis.

He said bilateral cooperation is today more important than ever and Athens is looking forward to attracting significant US investments.

“I want to assure you that the meeting was very productive, I never felt threatened. On the contrary I felt there is a fruitful perspective in order to overcome any differences that may exist and to see the common ground that is very important for the relations of our two peoples that are traditional and historical and for our common goals,", Sagte er, responding to a journalist’s question.

Commenting on Greece’s foreign relations, Tsipras urged Turkey to stop its provocations in the Aegean adding the country supports a just and sustainable solution for Cyprus. He said the U.S. can help relieve Greece of its “national concerns”.

Asked about whether he believed Turkey should remain in NATO, he reiterated Greece’s position that it supports both Turkey’s NATO membership and its EU course, noting however that the neighbouring country must respect international law and treaties.

“Greece is following a new dogma of a multi-dimensional foreign policy, with its main objective to upgrade Greece’s role as a country that is a pillar of stability and security in an unstable region,", Sagte er.

MEETING WITH PENCE

U.s. Vice President Mike Pence and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras discussed bilateral relations, die griechische Wirtschaft, investments and issues concerning Southeastern Europe in their meeting in Washington on Wednesday.

In a readout from Pence’s office, the Vice President congratulated Tsipras for Greece’s return to economic growth and financial markets.

“The leaders highlighted the strong and enduring ties between the United States and Greece. The Vice President congratulated Prime Minister Tsipras on Greece’s return to economic growth and financial markets, encouraged further reforms to spur investment, and reiterated U.S. support for credible debt relief,” the text said.

The leaders expressed their desire “to deepen cooperation in the economic and security spheres, including the visit of a high-level delegation to the 2018 Thessaloniki International Fair, where the United States will be the honored country.”

“Pence expressed appreciation for Greece’s role as a pillar of stability in the region, and the leaders reaffirmed their support for the Euro-Atlantic integration of Turkey and the countries of the Western Balkans,“Hinzugefügt.

On Cyprus, the Vice President underscored continued U.S. support for “a comprehensive settlement to reunify Cyprus as a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation and welcomed Greece’s increasing cooperation with Israel, Zypern, and Egypt in the eastern Mediterranean”.

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Die Regierungen von Griechenland und Zypern kritisieren Eide Rolle in den Verhandlungen

Nicosia.- (CNA, ANA-MPA)

The reason which did not lead to a positive outcome at the recent Conference on Cyprus cannot be questioned by anybody, Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides has told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), invited to comment on an interview on the July talks UN Secretary General’s Special Advisor on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide has given to the Agency.

“The reason the Conference failed is Turkey’s insistence on the continuation of the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee, on maintaining the right of intervention in Cyprus and on Ankara’s position for a permanent Turkish military presence on the island. These led the discussions in Crans Montana to a deadlock,” he stressed.

Invited to comment on some of Eide’s positions, as these were expressed in the interview to CNA, the Spokesman noted that Eide has adopted the position expressed by Nicosia and Athens that there cannot be a solution in Cyprus which provides for guarantee and intervention rights to any other third country.

Gleichzeitig, sagte er, some of Eide’s remarks, in particular those referring to what happened at the dinner on July 6 and Turkey’s real intentions, confirm what the President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades has also pointed out in public statements.

“And this is that unfortunately Mr Eide, on many occasions, believed that things happen which he wanted to happen and in this framework he downgraded substantive disagreements which emerged at the negotiating table,” the Spokesman said.

Concluding his comments on Eide’s interview, Christodoulides said “Just as for us this is a time for recollection, evaluation and time to think again, it would be right and reasonable for this time to be the time for self-criticism for Mr Eide too, who has played a role, has contributed to creating expectations and concurred to the preparation or the lack of sufficient preparation of the negotiations for the solution of the Cyprus problem.”

Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides, in a written statement, underlined the common positions of Nicosia and Athens on the issue of Security and Guarantees.

The Spokesman made the statement in response to remarks by political parties, noting “once more, we underline that the common position of Nicosia and Athens on the issue of Security and Guarantees is summed up as followed:

“Abolition of the Treaties of Guarantees and Alliance from day one of a solution, no intervention rights in Cyprus by a third country from day one of a solution and a deadline for the complete withdrawal of Turkish troops”.

Noting that he acknowledges that “while we perceive the pre-election convenience of making the remarks and actions of some, it is nevertheless necessary for everyone to be serious and the need for everyone to rise to the circumstances.”

Kotzias attacks UN

envoy for Cyprus

Greece’s Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias on Saturday launched an all-out attack on United Nations Special Adviser for Cyprus Espen Barth Eide, directly accusing him of attempting to undermine the talks on the Cyprus problem.

Pulling no punches in his first interview since the negotiations in Crans Montana – given jointly to the newspaper “Nea Selida” and the Cyprus newspaper “Phileleftheros” – Kotzias revealed that Eide had “secret meetings” that aimed to create a rift in the common strategy adopted by Athens and Nicosia.

“In his visits to Greece, Herr. Eide met secretly with business people – why, one wonders? – who, wie sich heraus, were linked to specific international actors and choices for Cyprus. Present at these meetings were also some of the journalists that like to insult me personally and try to disparage the common effort of the Greek and Cyprus governments. Zweitens, there is that Mr. Eide brought us to this phase in the negotiations without having adequately prepared himself. Drittens, we allowed him to tell a lot of lies for a long time. I pointed them out one by one during the conference. He knew he was lying but he did not care that he was caught in the act,” Kotzias said.

Zum Glück, the foreign minister added, Eide was “forced to backtrack when he attempted to present a document with his own positions as our positions.”

“I am afraid that he is continuing this tactic of his, even after Switzerland,” Kotzias added.

Regarding the escalation of tensions in Cyprus’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) due to Ankara, the foreign minister urged calm and self-restraint but did not hide his concern “that Turkey’s provocations could easily lead to mistakes and accidents.”

Lesen Sie mehr auf: Die Regierungen von Griechenland und Zypern kritisieren Eide Rolle in den Verhandlungen

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36 Mitglieder des Kongresses fordern Staatssekretär Tillerson eine starke Haltung zu den türkischen Drohungen gegenüber zyprischen AWZ zu nehmen

New York.- By Apostolos Zoupaniotis

Thirty six members of the U.S. House of Representatives in a letter the cosign, encourage U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to continue active engagement by the State Department in the Eastern Mediterranean, and in particular to urge a strong stance against rhetoric and provocations that threaten the spirit of cooperation and progress that has emerged in the region in recent years. "

letter-un-turkey-may30-N1716028

The letter addresses the Turkish threats against the Cypriot Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), as on July 13 Total is scheduled an exploratory drilling

This letter is the latest product of the partnership between the Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC) and the American Jewish Committee (AJC). HALC and AJC worked with the Congressional Hellenic Israel Alliance (CHIA) caucus and its two chairmen – Gus Bilirakis and Ted Deutch – launched the letter in time for the back to back conferences of the AJC and PSEKA.

The AJC made this letter part of the advocacy program of the Global Forum, where they were joined by members of HALC in lobbying members of Congress. Greek American leaders then raised the issue during the 33rdPSEKA Conference in Washington (Juni -6-8) urging members of Congress and U.S. officials to send a clear warning to Ankara.”

Amongst the cosigners of the letter are the Chairman and Minority Ranking members of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Ed Royce and Eliot Engel.

The letter to U.S. Secretary Rex Tillerson is signed by the following 36 members of the U.S. House of Representatives:

Theodore E. Deutch, Gus M. Bilirakis, Edward R. Royce, Eliot L. Engel, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Nita M. Lowey, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Dina Titus, Lee M. Zeldin, Robin L. Kelly, Matt Gaetz, Carolyn B. Maloney, Lois Frankel, Jerrold Nadler, Mike Quigley, John P. Sarbanes, Albio Sires, Randy K. Weber, Sr., Bradley S. Schneider, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Ted Poe, Brad Sherman, Daniel W. Lipinski, Zoe Lofgren, James F. Sensenbrenner, Jr., David N. Cicilline, Frank Pallone, Jr., Danny K. Davis, Josh Gottheimer, Mario Diaz-Balart, Matt Cartwright, Janice D. Schakowsky, John Shimkus, Mike Bost, Carlos Curbelo and Charlie Crist..

THE LETTER

Dear Mr. Secretary,

We are writing to encourage continued active engagement by the State Department in the Eastern Mediterranean, and in particular to urge a strong stance against rhetoric and provocations that threaten the spirit of cooperation and progress that has emerged in the region in recent years.

The burgeoning ties between Cyprus, Greece and Israel should be of particular importance to the United States. Beyond sharing democratic values, the three countries are increasingly collaborating in energy, counterterrorism, and tourism—fields that can contribute to European energy independence, promote economic stability in southern Europe and the Middle East, and help counter regional extremism and terrorism.

Israel’s partnerships with Greece and Cyprus ensure the security of Israel’s Mediterranean border. Israel’s strategic depth has always been a challenge, even more so now while the region is experiencing deteriorating security. Greece and Cyprus allow the Israeli Air Force to conduct exercises over their territory. The three countries exchange intelligence and have conducted search and rescue missions together. Greece and Cyprus are only the second and third countries, after the U.S., with which Israel has signed a ‘status of forces agreement.’

Cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean has the power to create partnerships where there was once conflict. Energy collaboration has facilitated and furthered important regional conversations. Consistent high-level contacts and trilateral summits involve other regional stakeholders including the EU, Italien, Egypt and Lebanon, providing opportunities for diplomatic engagement between these nations—engagement that otherwise might not occur.

Weiter, these new energy sources promise to allow key U.S. allies and partners to decrease their energy dependence on suppliers like Russia and Iran.
It is vital that the State Department continue active engagement in the region—not just for the benefit of the U.S and Israel—but because the cooperation facilitated by natural gas finds is not without challenges. Türkei, which stands to benefit greatly from energy exploration, repeatedly violates Greece’s air and sea territory and has issued numerous threats against the continued exploration in and exploitation of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Republic of Cyprus. Cyprus’s EEZ is safeguarded under international law and has been consistently supported by the United States government. There is also a long-standing dispute over which nation controls a maritime area off the coast of the Israel-Lebanon border.
With so much progress and potential at stake, we urge you to publicly reaffirm the commitment of the United States to support energy exploration and exploitation in the Eastern Mediterranean in a manner consistent with long-standing U.S. Politik. Weiter, we look forward to the ongoing engagement of the State Department in facilitating and supporting diplomatic, military and economic cooperation among allies in the region.

Lesen Sie mehr auf: 36 Mitglieder des Kongresses fordern Staatssekretär Tillerson eine starke Haltung zu den türkischen Drohungen gegenüber zyprischen AWZ zu nehmen

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Egyptian FM Shoukry optimistisch über ein Abkommen über AWZ

Athen.- Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in an interview with Efimerida Ton Syntakton newspaper on Saturday, on the sidelines of the 2nd Conference on Stability and Security in the Eastern Mediterranean held in Rhodes, stressed the need for cooperation between Greece and Egypt in the energy sector.

He stressed that “it is important for all of us to broaden the fields of cooperation. And energy is a field of cooperation “, while on the demarcation of an EEZ between the two countries he noted that the talks continue and expressed the conviction that there will be an agreement.

It is important,"Fügte er hinzu, “to build our relationship, to create a climate of security, stability and peace in the area that will pave the way for better exploitation of our common resources and the comparative advantages of each country. Natürlich, these will create better opportunities for employment, economic progress, and revenues.”

“We are facing the same or similar challenges, whether we are talking about politics or the economy, and if we work together we will get better conditions to meet our aspirations, but also to be protected from threats to peace and stability,” he stated.

Lesen Sie mehr auf: Egyptian FM Shoukry optimistisch über ein Abkommen über AWZ

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SOHN SOPHIA WINS AT Tribeca-Filmfestival

New York.- By Vicki James Yiannias

The latest good news about Greek films. Continuing the forward movement toward international recognition of films by Greek directors in recent years, Elina Psykou’s Son of Sophia, won for Best International Narrative Feature at the Tribeca Film Festival. Congratulations, Elina!

Shown on April 21-23, and April 28, Greek director Elina Psykou’s second feature film after her celebrated debut film, The Eternal Return of AntonisParaskevas, (Hellenic Film Academy and Thessaloniki Film Festival award winner) played from and garnered applause from audiences. About a stoic 11-year-old boy, Misha, coming from Russia to Athens during the 2004 Olympic Games to live with his mother, the film is a mix of realism and Misha’s fantastical inner life full of fairytale-like inhabitants. Realism in his relationship with his mother, who has lived apart from him, in Griechenland, for two years, and the almost surreal strangeness of an eccentric stepfather whose personality is both old school and bizarre, a new home, and a new country. Son of Sophia’s storylines are ambitious. They are abundant and they raise questions; some are answered and many are not.

The GN was lucky to catch the excited Tsirkou for her answers to the following questions.

GN: A few scenes in Son of Sofia remind of David Lynch’s work. Is he one of your artistic influences?

EP: I certainly love David Lynch’s movies. I remember myself deciding that I want to become a film director after watching “Wild at Heart” on TV. ich war 16 oder 17 Jahre, and I was so enthusiastic from being in that film’s world that I said I want to make movies like Lynch does, without being sure what this exactly means of course!

GN: Have any Greek film directors influenced your work?

EP: I really love a few Greek directors of previous generations, like Nikos Papatakis, Tonia Marketaki, GiorgosPanousopoulos, Stavros Tsiolis, and of course Theo Angelopoulos and PantelisVoulgaris and many others. I also love the work of a few contemporary directors and, as some of them are close friends of mine, I am proud of them and influenced by their work, natürlich! The cinema of your own country influences and inspires you, even if you don’t realize it.

GN: I’m assuming that Misha’s metamorphosis into a bear related to his mother’s teddy bear. What was the significance of the other metamorphoses, the zebra, crocodile, cow and wolf?

EP: About the zebra, I am interested in the presence of both black and white. Für mich, it is symbolic – both colors exist, as do two points of view. There is no black, there is no white, there is no bad and no good, no wrong and right. As for the crocodile, it is a reference to Gena, a character in the animated Russian kids’ show “Cheburashka”, who also appears on Misha’s birthday cake. The cow refers to the fatted calf of the Prodigal Son parable, the one that Mr. Nikos teaches Misha. Und schließlich, the wolf is the Big Bad Wolf, the famous fairytale character.

GN: What was the significance of Misha’s be carried aloft into the sky by balloons at the end of the film?

EP: Misha’s escape at the end is a direct reference to the Moscow Olympic Games closing ceremony back in the 1980. Misha, the mascot of the Games, flies off into the sky the same way. Despite this reference, I like that the movie has an open ending. The escape symbolizes Misha’s coming of age, the end of his childhood and also of his innocence. After the movie’s end, nothing will be the same, whatever this means.

GN: What did the unruly gang of sadistic young gay men represent?

EP: The gang of young boys is a different aspect of Greece. If one aspect, the old and conservative one, is represented by Mr. Nikos, die andere, the new one, is represented by this gang. Both aspects are confused, not knowing where to go and whom to listen to… The gay thing is just an element, a realistic one, but not the main core of the young gang’s presence in the movie. What interests me is that these boys are lost in the city, without hope, relatives, expectations and home. Und natürlich, their presence works as a statement for the city itself, an abandoned and isolated city.

Lesen Sie mehr auf: SOHN SOPHIA WINS AT Tribeca-Filmfestival

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Secretary of Defense James Mattis sagt Panos Kammenos Souda Bay Basis einige Expansion benötigen

Washington, DC.- (GreekNewsOnline, ANA-MPA)

Foto: GANP/Dimitrios Panagos

Security and defense issues of mutual concern topped the agenda of the talks between U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Greece’s Minister of Defense Panos Kammenos at the Pentagon ,am Freitag,, according a readout by Pentagon Spokesperson Capt. Jeff Davis. These issues included trans-Mediterranean migration; terrorism; and instability in the Balkans, Northern Africa, und dem Nahen Osten.

Welcoming Minister Kammenos, General Mattis surprised everyone speaking about Souda Bay Base, saying “there may be some need to expand it a little bit”.

U.s. is considering Souda Bay as one of the alternatives for their operations in the Middle East, following the temporary closing of the Insirlik Base in Turkey after the military coup attempt.

Secretary Mattis welcomed Kammenos at the Pentagon praising him for his leadership in keeping Greek armed forces well equipped and ready and well funded.

“And certainly you mentioned Souda Bay here while we were getting our picture taken, key Naval facility that we share with you. We’re grateful for hosting us when we need to be in there, maybe some need to expand it a little bit. We’ll certainly look at that, but the largest deep water port in the Mediterranean, wir sind sehr, very fortunate, it’s in the hands of capable NATO nation for the southern flank.”

According to the Pentagon spokesperson, Secretary Mattis thanked Greece for being one of five NATO allies that invests two percent of its GDP on defense, and expressed his appreciation to Minister Kammenos for hosting U.S. forces at Souda Bay, Kreta. He also noted Greece’s participation in NATO’s Aegean Activity and Kosovo Force and Greece’s strategic support in the counter-terrorism and extremism fight.

The secretary and Minister Kammenos agreed that security along NATO’s southern flank is of great importance to the entire alliance. Schließlich, Secretary Mattis congratulated the minister and the people of Greece on their 196th anniversary of independence, which is celebrated tomorrow. The two leaders look forward to continued future engagement.

PANOS KAMMENOS

Speaking to the Greek press, Defense Minister Panos Kammenos predicted the beginning of a new era in Greek-U.S. relations in defense. Nach Kammenos, the new Trump administration understood the special role of the nation-state and the ability of states “with history and special ties to develop relations.”

“They are well aware that Greece’s close and historic cooperation with Israel and its ability to ‘speak the same language’ as the Arab countries will help us work for peace and democracy, not just for ourselves but for the wider region,"Fügte er hinzu, while something similar was true in the Balkans.

Regarding Turkish provocations in the Aegean, Kammenos said there was agreement that “no new fronts” should be opened in the region. “We already have open fronts in Libya and Syria. Care must be taken so as not to create issues where there are none,", Sagte er, while noting that the U.S. side was aware of the Turkish activity.

Kammenos said that he had invited Mattis to visit Greece and that he had accepted the invitation.

The meeting focused on bilateral cooperation, NATO and the base in Souda and initiatives Greece can undertake in the broader Mediterranean region with third countries to create a “shield of stability and cooperation” with Israel, Zypern, Ägypten, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates to the south and east and with Bulgaria and Romania in the north.

Lesen Sie mehr auf: Secretary of Defense James Mattis sagt Panos Kammenos Souda Bay Basis einige Expansion benötigen

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Athen Austausch Weekly Review

Greek stocks ended slightly lower in thin trading conditions in the last session of the week in the Athens Stock Exchange, with investors sidelined awaiting the return of the institutions in Athens and the beginning of negotiations with the government next week.

The composite index fell 0.64 pct to end at 645.37 Punkten, off the day’s lows of 642.89 Punkten. The index is up 0.92 pct in the week and up 0.27 pct so far this year.

The Large Cap index eased 0.82 pct and the Mid Cap index ended 0.09 pct lower. Turnover was a thin 25.618 million euros in volume of 32,300,274 Aktien. PPC (1.87 pct), Mytilineos (1.60 pct) and Hellenic Petroleum (1.27 pct) scored the biggest percentage gains among blue chip stocks, while Alpha Bank (3.43 pct), Sarantis (2.82 pct) and Piraeus Bank (2.19 pct) suffered heavy losses. Among market sectors, Raw Materials (1.60 pct) and Utilities (1.15 pct) scored big gains, while Banks (2.22 pct), Telecoms (1.84 pct) and Travel (1.76 pct) suffered losses. Piraeus Bank and National Bank were the most heavily traded securities of the day. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 55 auf 54 with another 43 issues unchanged. Akritas (19.83 pct), Chatzikraniotis (19.74 pct) and Audiovisual (15 pct) were top gainers, while Pairis (26.50 pct), Nexans (18.10 pct) and Sato (18 pct) were top losers.

ADEX closing report

The March contract on the FTSE/ASE Large Cap index was trading at a premium of 0.25 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Friday. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 1,862 contracts with 7,782 open positions in the market.

Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 63,508 contracts with investment interest focusing on National Bank’s contracts (30,139), followed by Alpha Bank (3,885), Piraeus Bank (17,096), Eurobank (8,027), MIG (1,848), OTE (478), PPC (278), OPAP (137), Mytilineos (411), Hellenic Petroleum (801), Ellaktor (141), Viohalco (99).

Greek bond market closing report

The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds eased slightly to 6.92 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Friday, von 6.96 pct on Thursday, with the Greek bond yielding 7.12 pct and the German Bund yielding 0.20 pct. Turnover was a thin 1.0 Millionen Euro.

In interbank markets, interest rates moved lower. The 12-month rate fell to -0.113 pct from -0.111 pct, the nine-month rate eased to -0.171 pct from -0.170 pct, the six-month rate was -0.238 pct, the three-month rate was -0.329 pct and the one-month rate was -0.371 pct.

FINANCIAL NEWS

**** Greek budget recorded a primary surplus of 1.019 Milliarden Euro im Januar, from a primary surplus of 1.003 billion in January 2016 and a budget target for a surplus of 670 Millionen Euro, official figures showed on Friday.

A report on budget execution on an amended cash basis showed that the Greek budget recorded a surplus of 839 million euros in January from a surplus of 888 million last year and a budget target for a surplus of 530 Million.

State budget net revenue totaled 4.164 Milliarden Euro im Januar, up 4.3 pct from budget targets, while regular budget net revenue was 4.047 Milliarden Euro, up 8.9 pct from targets. This reflected increases in corporate taxes by 357.2 pct, direct taxes by 15.2 pct, VAT on oil products by 9.6 pct, VAT on tobacco by 38.9 pct, car circulation duties by 61.2 pct, other non-tax revenue by 25.2 pct, while tax revenue fell short of targets in income tax (-1.8 pct), other VAT (-6.8 pct), special consumption tax on energy products (-4.3 pct), EU funds inflows (-10.8 pct).

Revenue returns totaled 314 million euros in January, up 18 million from targets, while Public Investment Program revenue was 117 Millionen Euro, nach unten 159 million from targets.

State budget spending totaled 3.326 Milliarden Euro im Januar, nach unten 137 million from budget targets, while regular budget spending was 3.299 Milliarden Euro, nach unten 19 million from targets, but up by 107 million euros compared with January 2016. Public Investment Program spending was 27 Millionen Euro, nach unten 118 million from targets.

**** Registered unemployment (seeking a job) grew 2.03 pct in January 2017 auf 928,962, compared with December 2016, the Workforce Employment Organization (OAED) said on Tuesday.

OAED, in a monthly report, said that a total of 500,401 (53.87 pct) registered unemployed people were registered for more than 12 Monate, while the remaining 428,561 (46.13 pct) for less than 12 Monate, while the rate among women was 61.67 pct.

Die 30-54 age group recorded the highest registered unemployment rate (64 pct), während 9 von 10 registered unemployed were Greek citizens.

Total registered unemployment, not seeking a job, im Januar 2017 was down 0.71 pct compared with December 2016, while unemployed people receiving unemployment benefit totaled 157,015 im Januar, nach unten 27,647 oder 14.97 pct compared with December 2016.

**** Greece’s producer’s price index in the industrial sector grew 9.7 pct in January this year compared with the same month in 2016, nach einer 7.3 pct decline recorded in the 2016/2015 Zeitraum, Hellenic Statistical Authority said on Friday.

The statistics service, in a monthly report, attributed this development in the composite index (measuring both the domestic and external markets) ein 6.9 pct increase in the domestic market and a 19.7 pct rise in the external market index. The index was up 1.0 pct in January 2017 von Dezember 2016, nach einer 3.2 pct decline recorded in the same period last year.

**** Building materials’ prices remained unchanged in January after a 2.3 pct decline recorded in January 2016, Hellenic Statistical Authority said on Thursday.

The statistics service, in einem Bericht, attributed this development to price increases in diesel oil (28.6 pct), steel pipes (9.0 pct), Eisen (1.1 pct) and locks (1.0 pct) and price declines in wooden windows (2.4 pct), tiles (2.4 pct), plastic pipes (2.0 pct), bathtabs (1.5 pct), cement (1.3 pct), interior doors (1.1 pct), aluminium doors (1.0 pct), Strom (0.6 pct).

The composite index grew 0.2 pct in January from December 2016, nach einer 0.3 pct decline recorded in the same period last year.

**** The European Stability Mechanism (ESM) completed on February 10 the smoothing of Greece’s repayment profile for the loans the country received from the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), the crisis resolution mechanism said on Friday.

With this smoothing, the weighted average maturity for the outstanding EFSF loans currently totaling 130.9 billion euros was increased to 32.45 Jahr. The measure is part of the short-term debt relief measures for Greece agreed by its creditors.

**** Greek exports to Russia returned to positive group in 2016 after three years of decline, the Greek embassy’s Economic and Trade Affairs bureau in Moscow said in a report on bilateral trade relations.

According to provisional data released by Hellenic Statistical Authority, a decline in bilateral trade between Greece and Russia continued in 2016, but showed signs of slowdown, with the volume of trade falling by 16.8 pct to 3.6 Milliarden Euro. Greek exports to Russia grew 1.1 pct to 215.5 Millionen Euro in 2016, while imports from Russia fell 18 pct to 2.8 Milliarden Euro.

The trade balance, despite an improvement of around 612 Millionen Euro, remained in deficit for Greece, reflecting the impact of an EU embargo against Russia over the Ukraine crisis, a significant depreciation of the Russian currency and a decline in domestic demand because of a recession in the Russian economy.

Clothing and fur products accounted for 21 pct of total Greek exports to Russia, nach unten 3.0 pct from 2015, followed by oil products (9.8 pct), tobacco (7.8 pct), lifts 3.7 pct) and steel pipes (3.5 pct).

Imports from Russia were mainly oil products (70.7 pct), natural gas (13.1 pct), copper (1.5 pct) and wheat (1.0 pct).

Lesen Sie mehr auf: Athen Austausch Weekly Review

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Emirates starten Jahr- Runde Nonstop - Flug Athen - Newark

New York.- GreekNewsOnine

Ten years after Olympic Airlines was sold to Andreas Vgenopoulos’ MIG and the new ownership quit all transatlantic routes including the Athens – JFK daily non-stop flight, air travellers wanting to take a cultural break when flying to or from the United States will soon be able to enjoy a stop-off at the ancient Greek capital of Athens.

Emirates will launch a new daily service from Dubai to Newark Liberty International Airport via the Greek capital city starting on March 12.

The new route adds to Emirates’ existing four daily flights between Dubai and New York’s JFK airport, by offering global travellers with another convenient access point to the popular New York metropolitan area.

Emirates’ new Dubai-Athens-Newark flight will also provide a year-round non-stop daily service between the United States and Greece – a service that does not exist today and has not existed since 2008. The airline will operate a wide-body Boeing 777-300ER on the route, offering eight seats in first, 42 in business and 304 in economy class, sowie 19 tonnes of belly-hold cargo capacity. The huge cargo availability will make it easier and cheaper for Greek exporters of sensitive products (Fisch, dairies etc) to access the U.S. Markt.

“We are pleased to be able to help meet a strong consumer need long neglected by other airlines, and we would like to thank the authorities and our partners in both the US and Greece for their support of the new route,” said Sir Tim Clark, the president of Emirates Airline.

“We also expect tourism to receive a major boost from the availability of daily flights year-round.”

Elena Kountoura, the minister of tourism of the Hellenic Republic said: “This strategic choice substantially supports our efforts at the ministry of tourism to enhance the already increasing flow of visitors to Greece from the United States and the UAE on a yearly basis, travelling either for leisure or business purposes.”

Außerdem, the expected increase in tourism numbers will provide a boost for Greece’s battered economy, still wrangling with the IMF over the next tranche of its bailout.

“Greece’s economic comeback is going to have to include year round tourism and easier business travel. The new Emirates route makes this possible,” said Endy Zemenides, the executive director of the Hellenic American Leadership Council.

Emirates establishment of a direct flight is expected to push the fares down, especially during the months October – March. A year round direct flight is expected to make Greece more attractive to cruises and if the route will be proven successful, it’s possible Piraeus to be used as a starting point for cruises. Außerdem, the Boeing 777 offers a real first class, making it attractive to the world class travelers.

The US is home to the largest overseas Greek community in the world, numbering approximately 1.3 Million, and the New York City metropolitan area has the largest community of Greek Americans in the country, according to Emirates.

ISTANBUL IS DANGEROUS

Since the numbers of US travelers to Greece increased the last couple of years, high air fares forced many Greek Americans to use for travelling to their homeland Turkish Airlines, despite the fact that Turkey tops the list of State Departments warnings, following a series of terrorist attacks with many dead and injured. On January 25, 2017, die U.s. Department of State issued a new warning stating:

“Carefully consider the need to travel to Turkey at this time, and avoid travel to southeast Turkey due to the persistent threat of terrorism. The Department of State has placed restrictions on official travel by U.S. government personnel to Istanbul and to certain areas in southeast Turkey.”

On January 5, 2017, State Department spokesman warned that lives of American citizens are in danger in Turkey, because of the anti-American rhetoric in the Turkish media.

“Incendiary and false accusations about the U.S. in Turkish media are offensive and could endanger our citizens. Must stop”, Spokesman John Kirby twitted.

FLIGHT ITINARARY

Emirates operates one of the youngest and most modern fleets in the sky, with an average fleet age of just 61 Monate, compared to the industry average of 140 Monate.

Emirates flight EK209 will depart Dubai at 10:50 Ortszeit, arriving in Athens at 14:25 before departing again at 16:40 and arriving into Newark at 22:00 on the same day. The return flight EK210 will depart Newark at 23:45 Ortszeit, arriving in Athens the next day at 15:05. EK210 will depart once again from Athens at 17:10 bound for Dubai where it will arrive at 23:50.

REACTIONS

Emirates’ announcement was met with a swift and furious response from the airline’s US critics — American, Delta, and United Airlines — through the Partnership for Open and Fair Skies, an organization tasked with speaking on behalf of three carriers or US3 on the matter. Even though this is just a single route, the additional supply of seat capacity is a threat to the US3’s preciously trans-Atlantic business.

Delta operates a summer-only timetable from the Greek capital to New York’s John F. Kennedy International airport. Delta sought to block Emirates’s flight through Milan to New York as part of its campaign against the growth of Gulf airlines it says have had unfair state support. United and American will also offer summer services this year connecting Athens with Newark and Philadelphia respectively, according to the Skyscanner website.

“By flagrantly violating its Open Skies agreement with the United States at the start of the Trump administration, Emirates is throwing down the gauntlet,” Partnership for Open and Fair Skies chief spokesperson, Jill Zuckman, sagte in einer Erklärung. “We look forward to working with President Trump and his team to enforce these agreements and protect American jobs – something that the Obama administration failed to do.”

The US3 allege that the explosive growth experienced by Emirates and its fellow Middle Eastern carriers— Etihad and Qatar Airways — have been fueled by more than $50 billion in unfair government subsidies over the past decade. The US carriers also assume that continued expansion of the three Middle Eastern carriers or ME3 into the US will lead to the loss domestic aviation jobs. As as result, the US3 contend that the ME3 are in violation of the Open Skies bilateral agreements that govern air travel between the US and foreign nations.

Delta CEO Ed Bastian, along with his predecessor Richard Anderson, has said on many occasions that his company can compete against any airline in the world, but not governments.

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