Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 17 - 2006

 

On and Off the Akti Miaouli

 HSH Nordbank is to arrange bank financing to go with Omega Navigation's recent IPO. The German bank, which has worked with Omega's George Kassiotis in the past, will reportedly raise $300m at a pricing rumoured to be 100 basis points over Libor. Omega's initial filings indicated it would borrow $178.5m. but the $182.5m raised was less than hoped in its dual New York and Singapore listing early April. Some $154.5m of the proceeds goes towards the $294.5m purchase of the two ice-class 1A handymax and three panamax prodtankers with the remaining to pay debt.
 Piraeus-based International Naval Surveys Bureau SA (INSB) has received US Coast Guard (USCG) approval for it to serve its certified or monitored ships in US ports. INSB which offers classification services, statutory surveys on ships and certification, and maritime security services claims to have a fleet of some 650 ships of about 3.8m dwt on its books, mainly older oceangoing tonnage, much of which has passed the fourth special survey. Pantelis Chinakis, INSB md, said ships classed by INSB "can operate on the same basis as the IACS classed fleet". Founded 30 years ago, INSB is authorised to act in behalf of 20 flag states.
 It is recognised that bunker fuel costs can be reduced by optimising vessel routing, and achieving this is the aim of SeaRoutes, a software package developed by Piraeus-based shipping software house Danaos Management Consultants. By combining ship resistence data and seakeeping with weather forecast data, SeaRoutes is a "decision support system which has the potential to save between 5% and 15% of bunker costs and voyage time. No onboard installation is required as the system's optimisation is carried out ashore and the information sent to the ship's master.
 Cross Technical Services Ltd in cooperation with their principal companies VAF Instruments BV, Enraf/Contrec and VAF/CSI Control Systems BV will present new products and projects pertaining to developments in fuel oil management, the morning of May 18 at the Metropolitan Hotel, Nea Smyrni.Topics to be covered include: ODME: OILCON Mk6M acc to IMO Res. MEPC.108(49); OWS : BOSS acc to IMO Res. MEPC.10(49); Bunkering and oil transportation; Fuel oil management onboard ships; and Oil storage terminal and tankers with ro-ro facility. A cocktail buffet lunch will follow the presentation. For participation: Katerina Orfaniotou, Tel: 210 4284070-71 / 4535838 / 4180670 Fax: 210 4183472 E-mail: info@cross.com.gr or crosstec@otenet.gr
Source: Excerts of Newsfront Newsletter Vol. 7 / No. 16, published 28 April 2006


Tug of war on ship fares
Shipowners warned Merchant Marine Minister Manolis Kefaloyiannis that anything short of the complete opening up of economy fares will mean the government has to subsidize all coastal shipping routes, as provided by law.
Coastal shipowners suggest that if the ministry does not fully deregulate domestic maritime transport as it has to, it should propose a rise in fares by 10 to 12 percent in order to have the huge losses caused by the high prices of fuel and lubricants covered.
There is, however, a third choice too: the immediate abolition of non-compensative levies for third parties that burden the fares by about 20 percent.
Government sources suggest that the competent ministers (for economy and finance, merchant marine and Aegean and island policy) are not in favor of raising fares, particularly at this time. They do say a 3 to 5 percent rise in fares might be granted, although this would not satisfy the shipping companies.
Source: http://www.ekathimerini.com, By Nikos Bardounias - Kathimerini, Date: 4-28-2006


Daewoo book fattening with Greek VLCCs
---Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering is again fattening up its orderbook with VLCC bookings.
The Angelicoussis group of Greece has gone back to the yard to order another 320,000-dwt unit for delivery in 2008, just two months after booking a similar vessel for delivery in 2007.
The price is believed to be in excess of $120m.
Some sources suggest both deals were done two months ago and that for the second VLCC is only surfacing now.
Kristen Navigation, the Angelicoussis tanker-operating arm, took delivery of the 306,000-dwt Aries Voyager in February, which was the last in a series of VLCCs built at Daewoo.
Kristen is a keen buyer of VLCCs and has 21 vessels, 10 of which are newbuildings.
At the same time, Ghassan Ghandour-controlled Gulf Marine Management is said to have locked in three more 320,000-dwt tankers with the builder for delivery in July, September and December 2009. No price has been revealed. The ships are of high specifications and a price close to $125m each appears likely.
In August last year, TradeWinds reported that Ghandour had made a pact with Daewoo giving it access to 15 VLCC berths over a period of five years, exercising three VLCC-newbuilding options every year until 2010.
Three 306,000-dwt VLCCs were also booked in April 2005.
In January, the Lebanese owner sold two 300,000-dwt contracts to Greek owner Metrostar Management for a reported $122m per ship. The tankers are due for delivery in February and June 2007 and will be named Crudesun and Crudesky.
A third VLCC schedule for delivery in 2007 was also reported sold by Ghandour in January to Greek owner Chandris for $121m.
All three tankers were said to have been ordered at $85m each in 2004.
Gillian Whittaker Athens published: 28 April 2006
Source: www.tradewinds.no


Top to Issue Secondary?
At the end of 2005, then, Top Tankers had three outstanding loan agreements: one with DVB for $56.5 million, one with HSH Nordbank for $154 million, and one with RBS for a $195.7 million term loan and a $350 million revolving credit. The DVB facility was secured by two vessels that have since been sold and leased back, however, so it seems likely that this facility was among the $255 million repaid as part of the sale leaseback transactions. The HSH Nordbank facility, by contrast, was secured on four vessels still owned by Top. But, fortunately, we did not find any stipulations in either the HSH or RBS loan agreements that would seem to imply Top could be at risk for default.
to pay down debt. Ms. Boyden estimates an NAV for the company of $8.50 per share, in-line with our own estimates as shown in the accompanying table (although our estimates do not account for first quarter regular cash flow).
Source: Freshly Minted, VOLUME 2, ISSUE 16, www.marinemoney.com


Diana Shipping Inc. Announces Time Charter Agreement With Australian Wheat Board
--- ATHENS, Greece, April 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Diana Shipping Inc. (NYSE: DSX), a global shipping company specializing in the transportation of dry bulk cargoes, today announced that it has entered into a time charter contract with the Australian Wheat Board (Geneva) S.A. ("AWB") for one of its Panamax dry bulk carriers, the Nirefs, at a rate of 4.5% per day above the average rate of four pre-determined time-charter routes as published by the Baltic Exchange for a period of 18-21 months. The charter commenced on April 23, 2006.
The initial charter payment was made on delivery of the vessel to AWB based on the average of four pre-determined time charter routes for the 15 days preceding the vessel's delivery date.
The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Diana Shipping, Simeon Palios, commented: "We are very pleased to have arranged this time charter with the Australian Wheat Board. This contract is proof of our continued commitment to secure employment for our vessels with the most reputable and reliable time charterers in our industry. This transaction will further strengthen our Company's ties with one of the best charterers, which we believe will place our vessels in a strong position when seeking future vessel employment."
The Nirefs is a 75,311 dwt Panamax dry bulk carrier built in 2001.
SOURCE Diana Shipping Inc.
Source: http://www.prnewswire.com


Euroseas Ltd. Announces Delivery of its Multipurpose Vessel
The M/V "Tasman Trader" comes with a time charter attached until November 2008 at a rate of USD $8,850 per day. Thereafter, Euroseas has arranged an extension with the same charterer for a further 24 months, ending November 2010, at USD $9,500. After that 24 month period, Euroseas has arranged for a further extension for 15 months, ending February 2012, at USD $9,000.
Aristides Pittas, Chairman and CEO of Euroseas commented: "We are pleased to announce the delivery of the M/V "Tasman Trader" our first multipurpose vessel added to our fleet. The addition of a multipurpose vessel enables us to increase the flexibility and versatility of our fleet and allows us to enter into this niche market which is a hybrid between pure bulk and container vessels and where other opportunities may arise in the future. Furthermore, the time charter attached to the vessel, which expires in 2012, reinforces our capability to generate stable and predictable cash flows enhancing our earnings and shareholder value".
Source: http://www.euroseas.gr


Secret Dubai deal helped save oil tanker hijacked by pirates
---A KHALEEJ TIMES special investigation can today reveal the remarkable cloak and dagger operation mounted after Somali pirates hijacked an oil tanker as it sailed from Bahrain to South Africa in October last year. Conducted in secret and across three continents, the ransom operation to save the tanker San Carlo and its 25-man crew culminated three weeks later in Dubai with a $650,000 cash payment to the pirates.
The San Carlo, which is Greek owned but carries a Maltese flag, set sail from in late October, 2005, from Bahrain en route to South Africa loaded with fuel oil. Late on the night of October 21, a distress call was simultaneously received in Greece by the tanker's owners, Piraeus-based Trinity Navigation Limited, and the Malta Maritime Authority. The Greek captain managed to trigger a special 'distress' alarm and radio the owners to say the San Carlos was being attacked and boarded before the pirates took control of the ship. Contact was then lost, but sophisticated radio tracking equipment on board the San Carlo revealed its position at the time of the attack as 160km off the coast of Somalia: an area regarded as one of the most dangerous in the world due to pirate ambushes.
According to sources in Somalia, the pirates ordered the captain to turn the tanker around and head toward the coastal town of Eyl, 500km north east of the capital, Mogadishu. Once anchored a short distance offshore, the pirates used the ship's satellite telephone to call Greece and make their demands.
They wanted $1 million for the safe return of the San Carlo and her crew.
The Road to Ransom
According to ship registry documents, the San Carlo was launched on June 11, 1977, in Norway and used by Texaco and other oil companies until it was purchased by Trinity Navigation in June 2003 for $2.2 million. Although owned by Trinity, the San Carlo was managed by a company called Trustoil Tankers and operated by a third company, Athenian Bulkers.
However, enquiries by the Khaleej Times reveal all three companies share the same address, phone and fax numbers in Piraeus. Trustoil and Athenian Bulkers were founded by brothers Charbis and Christos Georgios , themselves both former sea captains. The three companies own, manage or operate at least five other tankers. A man who answered the phone at the companies' offices confirmed the San Carlo was owned by the Georgios family, but refused to comment further.
Khaleej Times has learnt that for at least a week after the ransom demand was made, a series of tense negotiations between the pirates and Trustoil took place, which resulted in a price of $650,000 being agreed for the safe return of the San Carlo and her crew. The pirates instructed the company to have the money delivered in cash to Dubai, where it would be collected and counted. The San Carlo would then be freed, they promised.
The Payoff
In early November, Elias Lostrom was in Dubai working as a maritime consultant on a separate shipping deal and was asked to witness the final phase of the ransom handover.
According to Lostrom, Trustoil contacted a representative in Dubai and asked that they arrange to take custody of the $650,000 until it could be collected by a second set of intermediaries who were charged with ultimately delivering to the Somalis.
Lostrom says he voiced his disgust the hijackers were getting away with their crime. 'It was all very shifty and it sickened me to my stomach at the thought that all that money would be handed over to these pirates,' he said. But the decision had been made. 'This is the only way we are going to get the ship back,' Lostrom was told.
Later that morning, officials from a Dubai money changing agency walked into the office of Trustoil's representative carrying a duffle bag. Inside the bag were dozens of bundles of cash that were then heaped onto an office desk.
Trustoil's representatives now telephoned the intermediaries appointed by the gReek company for the next phase of the handover. A short time later, two British men walked into the office and introduced themselves. One of the men said he was a lawyer, but both men declined to reveal details about the next phase of the ransom process. 'They were very cagy about the whole thing,' said Lostrom. 'Like us the whole thing made all of us very nervous.'
The money was then counted. 'The were piles and piles of money,' Lostom recalls, 'and we spent well into that afternoon day counting it.' The pirates had given specific instructions the $650,000 payoff was to be divided into several different piles containing set amounts. 'Presumably, each chunk was a pay off for certain people involved,' said Lostrom.
The handover was set for 5pm that afternoon. Lostrom accompanied the intermediaries back to their hotel, the Dubai Creek Sheraton, where the men said they had been instructed to wait for a Somali woman who would confirm the money was all there and then call the pirates on the San Carlo to release the vessel.
Later, Lostrom learnt the handover had not gone smoothly. After taking the money, the pirates refused to release the ship until they were issued with an official invoice or bill of lading so they could prove the money had been 'earned legally'. It is not known if that demand was met, but the San Carlo was released a few days after the money handover, on November 15.
Pottengal Mukundan, director of the London-based International Maritime Bureau (IMB), confirmed a ransom was paid for the return of the San Carlo, as did Andrew Mwangura of the Seafarers' Assistance Programme.
The IMB, which runs the Piracy Reporting Centre, said the San Carlo hijacking was one of 42 attacks recorded in the waters near Somalia since March 2005. Of those incidents, nearly 20 resulted in ships being held for ransom. 'It's a very difficult situation for ship owners,' Mukundan said. 'They can't just abandon their crews.'
Last week, Somalia announced it had given permission for the U.S. Navy to begin patrolling its waters in an attempt to drive out the pirates. The U.S. is also expected to help develop and train Somalia's near-defunct coastguard.
Source:


Chevron Interested in Joining Bulgarian-Greek Oil Pipeline
---10:24 - 26 April 2006 - Chevron Corp. is interested in joining a Bulgarian-Greek oil pipeline that will bypass the increasingly overcrowded Bosporus, the president of the U.S. major's Russian was quoted as saying by news agency Dow Jones, "Dnevnik a.m." reports.
Chevron Neftegaz president Trem Smith said the pipeline, which will run from Burgas in Bulgaria to Alexandroupolis in Greece, 'is an option' for the company.
The governments of Russia, Greece and Bulgaria have approved the project.
But Russia's state owned oil pipeline monopoly OAO Transneft said in February the Chevron-led Caspian Pipeline Consortium, or CPC, could double capacity only if it agrees to join plans to build the Burgas pipeline.
CPC's ownership is owned by Russia (24%), Kazakhstan (19%), Oman (7%), Chevron (15%), Lukarco BV (12.5%), Rosneft/Shell Caspian Ventures Ltd. (7.5%), Mobil Caspian Pipeline Co. (7.5%), Agip International NV (2%), BG Overseas Holding Ltd. (2%), Kazakhstan Pipeline Ventures LLC (1.75%) and Oryx Caspian Pipeline LLC (1.75%).
Transneft president Simeon Vainshtock confirmed for the Russian media that Kazakh company KazMunaiGaz and Chevron are interested in the pipeline project.
Transneft itself does not intend to invest in the pipeline but could participate as an observer and could be useful as an operator of the facility, said Vainshtock.
Sources close to the matter told Dnevnik that Moscow is insisting that Bulgaria and Greece pare their interest in the international company that will build the Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline.
The issue will be discussed at a yet-to-be-scheduled meeting of the trilateral project committee.
The contract for the creation of the Bulgarian company that will participate in the project will be signed shortly, said Lyubomir Denchev, executive director of state-controlled gas distributor Bulgargaz.
Bulgargaz will control 25% of the new company while the remaining equity will be held by Universal Terminal Burgas. Bulgarian company Technoexportstroy is the principal shareholder in Universal Terminal Burgas.
Denchev said Bulgargaz will provide financing equal to Bulgaria's share of the project.
Source: Dnevnik a.m.
Source: www.reporter.gr


Condoleezza Rice Remarks With Greek Foreign Min.
---
Wednesday, 26 April 2006, 11:43 am
Press Release: US State Department
Remarks With Greek Foreign Minister Theodora Bakoyannis After Meeting Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Athens, Greece
April 25, 2006
FOREIGN MINISTER BAKOYANNIS: (Via interpreter) It is my great pleasure to welcome the Foreign Secretary of the United States of America and my dear friend Condoleezza Rice to this country. Once more just like when we were in Washington we had a very useful conversation on a wide range of issues of mutual interest. As you see we regularly meet to discuss both bilateral and Secretary Rice shakes hands with Foreign Minister Theodora Bakoyannis, Apr. 25. 2006. AP photo international issues. Miss Rice and myself, we have seen that bilateral relations are at their best level for many years.
Greece and the U.S. are brought together by bonds of friendship and cooperation already since the Greek independence. We are (inaudible) of the ancient Greek democracy (inaudible) the farthest of these (inaudible) and the ideals of the American War of Independence have subsequently become one of the main source of inspiration for the Greek liberation struggle some years later. The active and successful economically and socially Greek American community in the United States is an important bridge historically bringing close together closer the American and the Greek peoples.
Greeks and Americans have fought side by side in every great struggle of the 20th century, always fighting for freedom and democracy. It is therefore to be expected that we should collaborate nowadays closely in order to deal as friends as allies the global and regional challenges of our era. Among these I should like to highlight the need to consolidate stability and progress here in Southeastern Europe, the fight against poverty, the fight against the proliferation of nuclear weapons, the dealing with natural disasters, and finally fighting against international terrorism, the tragic consequences of which we have also felt yesterday in Egypt with innocent victims.
This is a long history and a strong friendship binding our two republics and is based on joint values and principles, on common struggles and in our participation in the great community of states of NATO states. Our objectives are in general identical, but as is to expected for democratic countries, for countries where the freedom of opinion prevails, we're not always identical as far as the manner in which these objectives can be achieved. And that is why we collaborate systematically. We aim at the best possible coordination and promotion of our bilateral relations politically and economically to our mutual benefit.
Our strategic relationship is based on our conviction that we can collaborate effectively to promote the international peace and security. Greece is a modern European democracy and we are proud of that. Our country is a reliable partner within the European Union, an economic power in the Balkans, a country which invests and spends national resources in order to contribute to stability, growth and progress in the wider region; stability, peace and economic growth in the Balkans; as well as the settlement of the future status of Kosovo.
Within this framework are an important concern for our Balkan policy. Our policy promotes and strengthens the European perspective of all the countries in the region. We are doing this, and as I have explained to my counterpart, in every possible manner. We promote the issues of our -- we bring up the issues of our neighbors to the European Union. We make Greece a major and safe energy center in the area to the benefit of the region and we improve our -- the infrastructures and the transportation network of the peninsula.
We are doing all this because we believe that the European road, the roads to Europe, is the safest road towards a better future for all the peoples of the Balkans. Part of this strategic choice is to support the European perspective of Turkey. When Turkey fulfills the criteria and conditions as well as when they adapt to the acquis communautaire, they must be led, in our view, to full accession to the European Union. But this must come as the culmination of the full compliance of Turkey to its European course which they have chosen to follow.
Within this framework I had the opportunity of discussing once more with Mrs. [sic] Rice the issues of the respect for the rights of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the safeguarding of its smooth functioning. I believe that after the 3rd of October of 2005 we have opened a new window of opportunity, a European window of opportunity, for real substantial progress in our bilateral relations.
Greece is firmly committed to constantly improving these relations in every sector. In Greece, courage decisions have been taken, political and economical decisions, in this direction. We are looking forward to our neighboring country responding and we are stating today that this response is not adequate to date. On the contrary, we unfortunately have to deal with challenges which do not go in line with the good neighborly relations or the participation by Turkey, the accession of the European Union as a full member.
In relation to the Cyprus issue, we are firmly committed to achieving a fair, viable and functional solution. Recently we have seen a new impetus which we must all make the best of. We must create the conditions for the start of a new effort within the United Nations organization, an effort that will have seriously guaranteed success. Nobody, I believe, can take another failure. On our side in Greece, in collaboration, always in collaboration with the Republic of Cyprus, we are working in a firm and decisive manner in this matter in this direction.
My dear friend Condoleezza, once more welcome to Athens. Welcome to Greece. Thank you.
SECRETARY RICE: I want to thank the Foreign Minister and the Government of Greece for the invitation to come here and for the invitation which was issued when you were in Washington and, fortunately, I was able to take it up right away so that we could continue our fruitful discussions. And Dora and I have spent a good deal of time today talking about a wide range of issues. Let me just underscore a couple of things that the Minister has said.
First of all, Greece and the United States are strategic partners but we are more than that; we are countries that share deep values of democracy and freedom and a desire to see a world in which those values of democracy and freedom triumph for those who are not yet able to enjoy the blessings of liberty.
We are, of course, also allies in NATO and we have seen the work of NATO expand to global responsibilities in Afghanistan, in support of security assistance and training in Iraq. We, of course, see NATO trying to support efforts in Sudan to end the terrible conditions in Darfur. And we look forward to meeting again in Sofia at the end of the week to continue our work on NATO.
We did have a discussion of the importance of sustaining the pillars of stability in Southeastern Europe; of course, the relationship between Turkey and Greece, which has improved so dramatically over the last years; and the important work and stance that Greece has taken to support a European perspective and accession for Turkey in accordance with the requirements that Turkey has undertaken.
We discussed the need for a resolution of the situation in Cyprus. It is something that has gone on far too long and we would hope that the elements for a Cyprus resolution might come into being and indeed we discussed what some of those elements might be.
We also discussed the importance of a resolution of the situation in Kosovo so that the Balkans can be a place of stability and democracy.
And finally, we did discuss other global issues, including the importance of a diplomatic solution to the problem of the Iranian nuclear ambitions. Greece is a member of the Security Council and we discussed the fact that there is a forthcoming report at the end of the week and the need for the Security Council to then consider what actions must be taken to reinforce the credibility of the international demands that Iran indeed live up to the obligations that it undertook as a member of the Nonproliferation Treaty and the requirements that have been set out by the IAEA Board of Governors.
It was, as befits a partner, a friend, friends like Greece and the United States, a wide-ranging discussion based on our values, based on our shared interest, based indeed in our ties of kinship throughout the ages. But I want very much to thank my colleague for the warm welcome that I've received here and I look forward to many more opportunities to discuss these important issues, including, I hope, a return to Greece when I can stay longer and see more of this beautiful city.
Thank you very much.
MR. MCCORMACK: The first question to Anne Gearan of Associated Press.
QUESTION: Hello. Madame Secretary, Iran's top nuclear negotiator said this morning that Iran will withdraw its cooperation from the IAEA if the Security Council presses ahead with sanctions. And this comes on top of President Ahmadi-Nejad's statements yesterday that Iran may withdraw from the NPT altogether. Aren't these just the consequences that Russia and perhaps others have warned of if there (inaudible) pressure on Iran and what do you think at this point it means for the possibility of (inaudible) sanctions after the IAEA report?
And for the Foreign Minister, as a Security Council member, would Greece support sanctions at the Security Council?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, I think that what the Iranian statements do is to further Iran's isolation from the international community. Threatening the international community that you will walk out of treaty obligations, that you'll throw the IAEA out because the world demands that you demonstrate that your nuclear programs are indeed peaceful and not on the way to a nuclear weapon, is very emblematic of the kind of Iranian behavior that we've seen over the last couple of years.
I want to be very clear that, first of all, we have no argument with the Iranian people. They deserve better than they are currently seeing from their government, because the actions of their government are isolating Iran further and further. The Iranian regime has said that it wants civil nuclear power. It can have civil nuclear power. But no one, given Iran's past behavior, is prepared to allow Iran under cover of a civil nuclear program to acquire the technologies that could lead to a nuclear weapon. And so that's the issue. It is not about Iran's right to civil nuclear power. It is about past behaviors that have convinced the international community that there need to be objective guarantees that this is not going to be a nuclear weapons program. And that means that these technologies cannot be available on Iranian soil.
So I suppose the Iranians can threaten but they're deepening their own isolation. And I would just say that when the international community speaks and says that a member state must do something, then the international community has to be credible about that demand. Now, we will return to the Security Council after the report of the IAEA Board of Governors, after the report of Dr. ElBaradei, and we will consider what steps to take next. But we can't have another presidential statement, particularly in light of Iran's continued defiance of the international norms.
FOREIGN MINISTER BAKOYANNIS: The issue of Iran's nuclear (inaudible) coordinate within the European Union and decisions should be taken at the level of the Security Council. We are in the middle of a diplomatic effort, a diplomatic effort to which still has some tools to use in order to become effective.
QUESTION: Mrs. [sic] Secretary, since the discussions about Iran, if you don't exclude any measures of operations in Iraq (inaudible) and if that's the case, are you going to ask or have you already asked for the Greek facilities in some kind of operations -- American operations in Iran? And do you also ask about the support of the Greek Government in the Security Council, a positive vote of what measures are going to be taken?
SECRETARY RICE: A positive vote in the Security Council for -- in general?
QUESTION: (Inaudible.)
SECRETARY RICE: Ah, I see. First of all, let me go right to the crux of the question: The United States of America understands and believes that Iran is not Iraq. The Iraq circumstances had a special character going back for 12 years of suspended hostilities after a war of aggression which Saddam Hussein himself launched and in which those hostilities continued for that period of 12 years.
Now, the United States President doesn't take any options off the table. But we are on a diplomatic course here. That is the agenda that we are pursuing. That is the agenda that the Foreign Minister and I discussed. We discussed how to give weight to the diplomatic efforts that the Security Council is engaged in.
By the way, it is the European Union-3, with the backing of the European Union as a whole, that has been the centerpiece of trying to get the Iranians to accept a reasonable negotiated solution to their need for civil nuclear energy, if that is indeed what they want. And so the agenda is to reinforce our diplomatic efforts. We had a presidential statement in the Security Council. I think we are going to have to take a next step. It seems quite logical that one should consider a resolution under Chapter 7 of the Security Council's mandate. What that resolution will require, we will see. But we are on a diplomatic course. That was the agenda. I most certainly did not raise facilities for anything because that's not on the agenda. The agenda is how to reinforce our diplomatic efforts to get Iran to finally comply.
MR. MCCORMACK: Next question. Glenn Kessler, Washington Post.
QUESTION: Madame Secretary, with your talks here in Greece and also later in Turkey, have you and will you raise concerns about Gazprom becoming involved in the Greek-Turkish pipeline? And can you speak more generally about U.S. concerns about Europe's energy security possibly being held hostage by Russia and the U.S. efforts to promote an alternative pipeline route from Azerbaijan?
And to the Foreign Minister, how concerned are you about Russia's control of your energy supplies?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, Glenn, the first point to make is that energy security and diversification is not just a concern of the United States; it is an expressed concern of the European Union that there be energy security and energy diversification. In fact, I understand that this has been a subject for discussion in the European Union because multiplicity of supply as well as, by the way, diversification away from hydrocarbons in general to alternative fuels is also very important.
We do know that there are discussions about alternative pipelines, about ways to bring gas from places like Azerbaijan. We are supportive of those. But I have to emphasize that this is not something that the United States is pressing; this is something that European themselves are very concerned about. And by the way, we are concerned about our own diversification as is exhibited in the President's energy program and bill that he has put before the American people and elements of it of which have gone to Congress.
So there is going to be a very strong emphasis for all of us on energy security. It's quite obvious that when you have the kind of demand growing around the world with big economic powers growing -- developing powers in places like China and India, that it is going to be critical to have energy security. We're going to discuss it at the G-8. I suspect they're going to continue to discuss it in the European Union and we certainly did discuss it here today in the bilateral discussions with Greece and I would expect to do the same when I'm in Turkey.
QUESTION: Did you raise Gazprom?
SECRETARY RICE: We talked about energy diversification. It's quite clear that one of the concerns is that there is a -- there could be a monopoly of supply from one source only, from Russia. But it's broader than just the question of monopoly supply from Russia. It's a question of diversification of energy supply in general.
FOREIGN MINISTER BAKOYANNIS: As you're aware, Greece is recently becoming an energy center and this is very important for this country. We need to have diverse sources of energy both in the country and throughout Europe. We are very interested in our pipeline, Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline, oil pipeline. We have another pipeline that would bring natural gas from Turkey to Italy.
And at this point, I should like to highlight the important role that Greek shipping can play. We have a very modern fleet that can transport both oil and gas from many suppliers. So throughout the world and in Europe an effort is underway to diversify the sources of energy, always in relation to the price of energy which we consume.
QUESTION: Dr. Rice, you talked about Turkey. Do you believe that Turkey can proceed to Europe without having resolved the Cyprus issue and without resolving the issue of northern Cyprus with all airports and ports being closed to Cypriot shipping?
SECRETARY RICE: (Inaudible) European Union. We know that there are requirements that need to be met and we have engaged both Europe and Turkey to encourage -- we're not members of the European Union, we don't have a vote, but we have encouraged that that union take place because Turkey is a European country. It should have this European perspective.
As to the work that remains to be done before that accession, there is considerable work that remains to be done and, of course, issues concerning Cyprus are among the work that needs to be done. We do believe that there needs to be goodwill and effort by Turkey, but there also needs to be goodwill and effort by Cyprus. Because at the time that Cyprus, as a still-divided island, acceded to the European Union, I think there was an understanding that Cyprus would do nothing to -- certainly do nothing to block Turkey's accession and indeed would work actively if the European Union decided that Turkey should accede, to see that take place.
And so we're encouraging all parties: Turkey to do what it must on the outstanding Cyprus issues; but Cyprus also to do what it can to ease the isolation of northern Cyprus and to act responsibly in trying to complete the elements that would lead to Turkey's accession, which consider to be very important. And we also appreciate the constructive attitude that Greece has taken concerning Turkey's European perspective.
Thank you very much.
FOREIGN MINISTER BAKOYANNIS: Thank you.
2006/T12-3
ENDS
Source: http://www.scoop.co.nz/