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October 6, 2011

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Does Papandreou agree with Rondos’ views about sharing the Aegean with Turkey?

photo by defence-point.gr

Hellenes today cannot understand, and/or explain, the uncalled for and anti-Hellenic views of the advisor to Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou Mr. Alex Rondos. While commenting on Greek-Turkish issues in an interview to the Turkish daily "Hurriyet" that relations between Greece and Turkey should be demilitarized. He said Turkey should withdraw its troops from Cyprus to unite the island and withdraw its casus belli and then ... when all is well, Greece can take steps to drastically reduce its military spending, while Turkey (who is in graver danger and is suffering from more threats in his opinion) should not.

Specifically he said: 
The Aegean should be transformed into one tourist market where both nations can come and go as they please to each others coasts for the weekend. This approach reminds us of the theory for a unified Hellenic0Turkish area that was endorsed by a Greek professor in Canada. Perhaps such a solution might require a “different Turkey” without the “heavy weight” of the South-Eastern region amongst other things. This is not the correct setting to open this kind of discussion…”
And then he goes on to say that 
Relations between Greece and Turkey have to be demilitarized. Turkey has to withdraw its forces from Cyprus and allow the unification of the island, and at the same time it has to back down from a casus belli and after this… everything will be fine. Greece will make the next step by decreasing its military spending, while Turkey, which is under graver threat, will not.
Following these statements, can Mr. Rondos claim that he is just expressing his own personal views, or is he stating Greek foreign policies? Either way... statements of this sort are serious and should not be taken lightly. What we do not yet know is if this grand vision of Mr. Rondos is also embraced by George Papandreou because if it is... then we are talking about a whole new ball game!

This mysterious man, who has always “by chance” appeared in countries where rebellions or threat of rebellions have occurred thereafter, cannot be viewed as someone who is just conducting diplomatic work says an article in defence-point. From the Balkans and the Milosevic regime, to Georgia and Michael Saakasvili before the conflict with Russia, Mr. Rondos has been at the center of all these developments and his statements should not be taken lightly.

The question remains. Does George Papandreou agree to these views? And if yes… who gave him the right to play foreign policy games behind the backs of the Greek people.

But who really is Alex Rondos: Well… after googling his name hellasfrappe was able to come up with this information and it is indeed disturbing. This bio was uploaded in 2006 on the symisymposium website:
Since 2004, Mr. Rondos is working on the private sector, and serves on the board of various international initiatives. He serves in the following international capacities: Chairman of Working Table l of the Stability Pact for the Balkans; and as Personal Representative of the Romanian Chairman in Office of the OSCE. Mr. Rondos’ career has included journalism at West Africa Magazine, followed by 12 years work in relief and development work, including eight years for Catholic Relief Services in senior management positions in Ethiopia and the Middle East. Mr. Rondos created the first inter-Orthodox relief agency, International Orthodox Christian Charities, and established operations in the former Yugoslavia, the Russian federation, and the West Bank and Gaza. 
After two years at the World Bank, he became an adviser to the Foreign Minister of Greece, George Papandreou, counseling him and implementing changes in Greek strategy in the Balkans and Turkey as well as helping manage the Greek Presidency of the European Union during the Iraq crisis. He concluded government service as Ambassador at Large.
 

In addition to serving as personal adviser to the Foreign Minister, Mr. Rondos undertook special missions. These included designing a relief mission to Kosovo during the NATO bombing campaign (report provided to UNSG); advising senior democratic opposition politicians in Belgrade leading up to and during the change of power; establishing and serving as Director General of the Department of International Development Cooperation. In this capacity, he led the Greek humanitarian mission to Turkey following the earthquake there in 1999 that led to a rapprochement between Greece and Turkey. Throughout this period, he also served as a personal envoy of the Foreign Minister on missions to Turkey, governments in the Middle East, Europe, and the USA.
 

Alex Rondos is Greek national, born in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, in 1954. He was educated in Kenya and the UK, completing his BA (Hons) at Oxford University (Brasenose College). The turning point in his career was in 1992 when the Archbishop of North America Iakovos chose him to establish the first humanitarian NGO's Orthodox Church, called the International OrthodoxChristian Charity (IOCC). In his new role, Mr. Rondos started to come into contact with the Greek Diaspora and the Greek-American lobby. A little after this, says a separate article in TO VIMA, or specifically in the period 1996-1997 he came into contact with George Papandreou who was acting Deputy Foreign Minister then under the government of PASOK party leader at the time Costas Simitis. Their friendship apparently strengthened when Mr. Rondos came to Athens with the Presidency of the Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) Andrew Athens to convince the Greek government to financially support the Greek Diaspora in the Black Sea. In 1999 Papandreou took the helm of the Foreign Ministry succeeding Mr. Theodore Pangalos. 
In a separate analysis on  Alexander (Alex) Rondos I uncovered the following shocking information on the ohridsky web site.  
Rondos is directly involved with the Greek Foreign Ministry’s chapter on foreign aid development that holds an annual budget of some 60 million Eiros. 

The article specifically says that his connections in the IMF and the World Bank apparently helped Papandreou to deal with the current debt crisis.  It also says that he holds excellent relations with FYROM authorities especially people from the WAZ Group including the director Srdjan Kerim. His liaison or mediator with Greek political and business structures is always Marinela Koppa whose role in secret negotiations with the name is explained in WikiLeaks documents. 

Interestingly enough it also says that his latest activity was a project in Egypt and mentions the activity of the canvas in Egypt, which is an organization through non-violent protests that topple governments in undemocratic regimes. 

The article says that this “organization” apparently operates from Serbia in centres on Crete. Moreover it also notes that Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the WG, Dimitris Dolis is his closest friend, which in recent years led paradiplomatic activities in Pakistan and India by Greek NGOs. 

The shocker for this writer was reading that Rondos’ first diplomatic activity was working with Albania, Egypt, Libya, Cyprus and Turkey to mark the division of Mediterranean. 

According to the same article Rondos has conducted secret activities between Tirana and Athens. According to what has been reported a series of strategic agreements on maritime border emerged from these top secret meetings. 

These agreements were also known and signed by Dora Bakoyannis who is also a close friend of Rondos.


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