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Greece assumes rotating U.N. Security Council presidency

Greece assumes rotating U.N. Security Council presidency

Greece takes over the rotating U.N. Security Council presidency Friday for the month of September, at a time of international tensions over nuclear programs in Iran and North Korea and with a fragile U.N.-brokered cease-fire holding in Lebanon.It assumes the largely ceremonial post on the heels of Thursday's expired U.N. deadline for Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment program. A top Iranian envoy, Mohammad Nahavandian, in Athens Thursday for talks with Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, played down the chance of confrontation on the issue, calling instead for comprehensive cooperation without deadlines.
Greece has been an informal channel of communication between Iran and the United States.
Another country with nuclear ambitions, North Korea, tested a series of missiles in July amid an international outcry and could also face U.N. sanctions.
This month the Security Council is also expected to debate the future of Kosovo, while on Sept. 20 a foreign ministerial meeting will discuss U.N. cooperation with regional organizations.
The Greek presidency coincides with the annual opening of the U.N. General Assembly later this month, while in October the 15-member Security Council is to recommend to the assembly its choice of secretary-general to succeed Kofi Annan, who is stepping down after two terms.
Bakoyannis said Monday that Greece favors an Asian candidate, without specifying.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos said Thursday that Greece's presidency would focus on respect for the U.N.'s central role and international law and the need for diplomacy to resolve international differences.
Greece's two-year non-permanent Security Council membership ends in December.


Updated : 2021-10-24 04:55 GMT+08:00