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23/06/2006 11:27 Local Time 
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Informal General Affairs and External Relations Council 2-3/5/03: Various Contributions on the issue of EU-USA Relations, explanatory note
The issue of the translatlantic relationship will feature, as suggested by the Greek Presidency, among the principal topics of discussion during the Informal Meeting of the EU Foreign Ministers due to take place in Rhodes-Kastelorizo on May 2-3 2003.  Everyone is aware of the tension and mutual distrust that cast their shadow on the relationship between the EU and the USA, having in turn been affecting a wide range of bilateral issues. Tensions have been further aggravated by recent developments on the Iraqi issue, owing to the different approach taken by the two sides on the matter. 

During its six-month Presidency of the EU, Greece has prioritized the need to re-establish the transatlantic relationship on a new, equal, and mutually beneficial basis which will ultimately promote international stability, security, cooperation, peace, and development.  Within this context, the acting President of the EU Council, Mr. George A. Papandreou, has invited renowned figures in the academic and political scene both in the EU and in the USA in order to contribute their expertise and opinions on the matter. 

Their response was prompt and it resulted in a number of important contributions and proposals, as can be attested by the texts which we are honoured to publish on the website of the Greek Presidency.  The texts will be distributed by Minister G.A. Papandreou to his counterparts from the EU member-states and candidate countries.  Those texts are intended to serve as “food for thought” in view of the discussions due to take place in Rhodes-Kastelorizo.  We believe that the texts may prove to be highly instrumental not only in the context of the aforementioned discussions but for the wider public as well.

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