The opening of a conference of all Balkan countries, except Albania, in Athens, Greece, on Monday (26 January) was seen as the first step towards regional detente.
GV EXTERIOR Conference building
GV Flags of Balkan countries
CU Miniatures of flags in conference room
CU OF Bulgarian delegate ZOOM OUT TO SV OF Delegates
SV Greek delegate, Turkish delegate, Yugoslav and Rumanian delegates (4 shots)
GV PAN Delegates seated in conference room
Initials CL/2100 CL/2110
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Background: The opening of a conference of all Balkan countries, except Albania, in Athens, Greece, on Monday (26 January) was seen as the first step towards regional detente.
The 74 delegates from Rumania, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Turkey and Greece met under the chairmanship of the Greek Under-Secretary of Co-ordination and Planning, Mr. George Kontogeorgis. Mr. Kontogeorgis also headed the Greek delegation.
Earlier the delegates were received by Premier Constantine Karamanlis who addressed them and set the guidelines of the agenda which was drawn up by the conference at a private session on Monday night.
The conference, which is expected to last 10 days, will concentrate on economic, technological and cultural issues.
Commenting on the opening of the conference observers in Athens attached particular importance to Turkey's presence as Cyprus and territorial disputes in the Aegean have strained relations between Athens and Ankara.
Turkish delegation leader, Oguz Gokmen, said at the opening session that Turkey was taking part in the conference with an open mind and with certain hopes.
Observers also said the meeting could eventually lead to a new Balkan understanding including a non-aggression pact.