The first Conference for Security and Stability, a Greek initiative for creating an annual forum for open exchange of views, will take place on 8 and 9 September 2016 on the island of Rhodes, which has been crossroads of cultures, religions, ideas and trade since ancient times.
The Conference’s aim is to provide a significant step towards building bridges of cooperation in the area of the Southeast Mediterranean, given the continuing destabilization in the region due to the ongoing conflicts in Libya, Ukraine and the Middle East, but mainly in Syria and Iraq. To the extent that these conflicts are prolonged without a possibility for a viable solution, the effort to tackle this problem constitutes a significant aspect of the foreign policy that many countries pursue. As Greece is geopolitically located at the heart of this “triangle of instability” defined by the above conflict areas, this initiative constitutes an even more important step for the Greek Foreign Policy towards promoting regional stability and peace.
In this respect, during the days of the Conference, the centre of regional policy making for the Southeast Mediterranean will “operate” in Rhodes, where the Heads of diplomacy of Greece, Albania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Italy, Croatia, Slovakia, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Libya, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia, are expected to join forces in order to tackle the common challenges that the countries in the broader Mediterranean area are currently facing. The Conference will take place in a 7+7 format and the discussion will explore a whole range of challenges to regional security in the wider Eastern Mediterranean region, including ways to meet and overcome these challenges: from the refugee/migration crisis to environmental issues, the threat of radicalization but also the economic relations of the countries in the region, the improvement of trade and investment as well as the development of energy networks, the Foreign Ministers will work to uncover the political economic and cultural synergies and initiatives that can effectively stabilize the region.
This Conference is a true paradigm of Greece’s determination to play a significant role in the process of stabilization of the region, by joining its forces with the countries that also share its political vision of a stabilized and prosperous Mediterranean.