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Hon. Benjamin L. Cardin, Chairman
Hon. Alcee L. Hastings, Co-Chairman
For Immediate Release
October 12, 2009


ATHENS--A U.S. Congressional delegation led by Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) and Co-Chairman Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) expressed optimism today after a meeting with new Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou that his government would make needed progress on issues outstanding in the neighboring region.

The U.S. delegation, which also included Senator George V. Voinovich (R-OH) and Congressman Mike McIntyre (D-NC), are among the first foreign officials to visit the Papandreou government in Athens since the Oct. 4 election. The delegation met on Saturday with Greek Deputy Prime Minister Theodoros Pangalos.

"We had a very positive meeting with Prime Minister Papandreou. He was generous with his time and thoughts. We look forward to working with the new Greek government on issues of mutual concern, including the OSCE and its upcoming December ministerial meeting, climate change, and regional issues,” said Sen. Cardin, after a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's Parliamentary Assembly Fall Meeting.

For photos from the meeting, click here.

The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission, is an independent agency of the Federal Government charged with monitoring compliance with the Helsinki Accords and advancing comprehensive security through promotion of human rights, democracy, and economic, environmental and military cooperation in 56 countries. The Commission consists of nine members from the U.S. Senate, nine from the House of Representatives, and one member each from the Departments of State, Defense, and Commerce.
Media Contact: Neil Simon
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