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Interview with Fanis Papathanasiou of Hellenic Public Television (ERT)

Ambassador Shirin Tahir-Kheli, Senior Advisor to the Secretary of State on Issues of Women's Empowerment
Athens, Greece
June 6, 2008

QUESTION: So what is your impression of the [Women Leaders’ Working Group: “Next Generation Initiative: Middle East Regional Forum” hosted by Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyiannis]?  Do you think it was a step forward?

AMBASSADOR TAHIR-KHELI:  A couple of impressions. First of all, I really have been very impressed and appreciative of the enormous hospitality, which is a Greek tradition. I’m new to Greece itself, but I’ve heard of the traditions and that’s really evident. And it’s sort of a good way of getting a group of people who care about issues to come together in situations where the leadership cares, to talk about things that matter to 50% of the world’s population -- that is, women’s empowerment, and it is a subject that is very close to the concerns of my boss, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and she started this network. Foreign Minister Bakoyiannis was one of the founding members of the network, and it’s been very good to watch the evolution of this group through meetings -- in a variety of different locations and different emphasis but always with a commitment to partnership and a commitment to practical steps to help women.

QUESTION:  Do you convey any special messages from Secretary Rice to Foreign Minister Bakoyiannis about the status of Greek-American relations?

AMBASSADOR TAHIR-KHELI:  In the issues on which I work, Greek-American relations are fabulous, so there is no particular message to convey other than the gratitude of the Secretary to the Foreign Minister [of Greece] for hosting this conference and for continuing to work on issues of women’s empowerment, which are very important to both leaders.

QUESTION:  Thank you very much.

AMBASSADOR TAHIR-KHELI:  Thank you.



Released on June 4, 2008

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