Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis to participate in an event organized by the Region of Central Greece to mark the 40th anniversary of Greece’s accession to the European Communities (Lamia, 30.06.2021, at 18:00)

Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis will participate in the event to mark the 40th anniversary of Greece’s accession to the European Communities, to be held in Lamia tomorrow, Wednesday, June 30, 2021, at 18.00, at the Cultural Center of the Municipality of Lamia (11 Leonidou St.).

The event’s title is “Conference on the Future of Europe – For a More Coherent Europe” and is part of the actions taken in all Regions of the country to promote the national dialogue on the Future of Europe. It is organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Varvitsiotis, who is the coordinator of the national dialogue, and the Region of Central Greece.

The event will also be attended by Mr. Christos Staikouras, Minister of Finance, Mr. Fanis Spanos, Regional Governor of Central Greece and Ms. Fotini Asderaki, Associate Professor at the University of Piraeus, holder of the Jean Monnet Chair and President of the Doctoral School of the European Security and Defense College.

On the premises of the event a photo exhibition marking the 40 years of Greece’s participation in the European Communities will be presented, featuring major milestones and key political figures of Greece’s European course.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias’ address at the online event “Albania and Greece Relations: what do citizens think”, organized by ELIAMEP (Athens, 29.06.2021)

Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias addressed, via video recorded message, the online event on Greek-Albanian relations themed “Albania and Greece Relations: what do citizens think”, organized by ELIAMEP, in cooperation with the Open Society Foundation Albania (OSFA).

In his speech, the Minister referred to the historical ties between the two countries, as well as the contribution of the Greek National Minority and of the Albanian citizens living and prospering in Greece to building a solid bridge of friendship between the two countries.

Mr. Dendias also stressed that Greece and Albania are opening a new chapter in their bilateral relations with their decision to have recourse to the International Court of Justice in The Hague on the delimitation of the exclusive economic zone and he reiterated that Greece supports Albania’s European perspective. Finally, he referred to the donation of 20,000 vaccines to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.


Interview of Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis on SKAI TV’s morning show “SIMERA”, with journalist D. Oikonomou – Main points (29.06.2021)

Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis described the Turkish claims as unacceptable in an interview on SKAI TV’s morning show “SIMERA” with journalist Dimitris Oikonomou. Regarding the new claims from Ankara and the recent statements of Turkish officials, Mr. Varvitsiotis added that Turkey does not seem to have received the message of the EU that effective de-escalation by way of a substantial dialogue is necessary.

Referring to the conclusions of the recent European Council, the Alternate Minister pointed out that Turkey recorded losses with regards to its usual claims and that the European Union once again stood in solidarity with Greece and Cyprus. He noted that, although the de-escalation was welcomed at last week’s General Affairs Council, there were statements, even from the German side, that “Turkey does not seem to understand the message of Europe, that not only de-escalation, but also engagement in a meaningful dialogue is needed”. Mr. Varvitsiotis stressed that “Turkish claims are unacceptable”, while he added that the fact that the EU acknowledges that the borders of Greece are also borders of Europe is important, and that the presence of Frontex also contributes to this.

Referring to the new proposed European funding to support the Syrian refugees hosted in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, Mr. Varvitsiotis stressed that for the first time, and at the suggestion of Greece and Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Lebanon and Jordan were included in the recipients of the funds because, as he noted, “we want to make it clear that it is not only Turkey but also other countries that we need to assist”.

Killing of Activist sends chilling signal: perpetrators must be brought to justice

The Media Foundation for West Africa is outraged and dismayed by the fatal attack on Ibrahim Anyass Muhammed, aka Kaaka, a social activist at Ejura in the Ashanti region of Ghana, and urge the Police to do everything possible to ensure that the culprits face the law.

The Activist’s killing can send a chilling signal to other outspoken citizens and create an atmosphere of fear and security among the pressure groups community.

Muhammed, also known as Kaaka, was reported to be returning home at about 1:30 am on Sunday when his assailants who appear to have been on his trail, accosted him in front of his home. The hoodlums bludgeoned Kaaka into a stupor and the activist died at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in the regional Capital Kumasi on June 28, 2021, where he had been referred from the Ejura Government Hospital.

Ibrahim Muhammed, 45, is a member of the Economic Fighters League, a socio-political pressure group, and was known to be vocal on local and national development and governance. He was also very active on social media, particularly Facebook and an activist of the #FixTheCountry movement, an ongoing online protest demanding better living conditions and public service in Ghana.

His last activity on Facebook was a post criticising the arrest of members of the #TheFixCountry movement at the Accra High Court Complex on June 25, 2021.

The Economic Fighters League has condemned the killing of their comrade saying that he was martyred for demanding better for his community.

The statement issued on June 28, 2021, said “Kaaka was an active and concerned activist using social media to expose the developmental problems of his community.” The statement indicated that the deceased activist had received several threats over his activities including a threat from the police to charge him with disturbing public peace. The MFWA has sighted a copy of the police letter dated June 11, 2021.

The MFWA welcomes the announcement by Godwin Ahianyo, the Ashanti Regional Police spokesperson, that two suspects have been arrested in connection with Muhammed Kaaka’s murder.

The widespread belief that the activist was attacked for his outspoken demand for accountability and better social services can dissuade other critical voices and discourage participation in discourse on development issues in Ejura and Ghana as a whole.

The incident can reinforce the growing sentiment among Ghanaians that the authorities are imposing a “culture of silence’ by their hostility to critics and intolerance of criticism.

We, therefore, commend the Police for the swift arrests and urge them to pursue the matter to its logical conclusion.

Zoom to Acquire Kites GmbH

Kites Team to Help Enhance Zoom’s Machine Translation Capabilities

SAN JOSE, Calif. and KARLSRUHE, Germany, June 29, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZM) today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Karlsruhe Information Technology Solutions – Kites GmbH (“Kites”), a start-up dedicated to developing real-time Machine Translation (“MT”) solutions. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Kites was founded in 2015 and has academic roots with Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, where co-founders Dr. Alex Waibel and Dr. Sebastian Stüker are faculty members. Kites’ talented team of 12 research scientists will help Zoom’s engineering team advance the field of MT to improve meeting productivity and efficiency by providing multi-language translation capabilities for Zoom users.

“We are continuously looking for new ways to deliver happiness to our users and improve meeting productivity, and MT solutions will be key in enhancing our platform for Zoom customers across the globe,” said Velchamy Sankarlingam, President of Product and Engineering at Zoom. “With our aligned missions to make collaboration frictionless – regardless of language, geographic location, or other barriers – we are confident Kites’ impressive team will fit right in with Zoom.”

“Kites emerged with the mission of breaking down language barriers and making seamless cross-language interaction a reality of everyday life, and we have long admired Zoom for its ability to easily connect people across the world,” said Dr. Waibel and Dr. Stüker. “We know Zoom is the best partner for Kites to help advance our mission and we are excited to see what comes next under Zoom’s incredible innovation engine.”

Dr. Stüker and the rest of the Kites team will remain based in Karlsruhe, Germany, where Zoom looks forward to investing in growing the team. Zoom is exploring opening an R&D center in Germany in the future. Dr. Waibel will become a Zoom Research Fellow, a role in which he will advise on Zoom’s MT research and development.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains express and implied “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 related to Zoom’s acquisition of Kites that involves substantial risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. Forward-looking statements in this communication include, among other things, statements about the potential benefits of the transaction, our development of our MT solutions, our ability to integrate the Kites team, and potential growth opportunities. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terms such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “project,” “will,” “would,” “should,” “could,” “can,” “predict,” “potential,” “target,” “explore,” “continue,” or the negative of these terms, and similar expressions intended to identify forward-looking statements. However, not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. By their nature, these statements are subject to numerous uncertainties and risks, including factors beyond our control, that could cause actual results, performance or achievement to differ materially and adversely from those anticipated or implied in the statements. These assumptions, uncertainties and risks include that, among others, the possibility that the anticipated benefits of the transaction are not realized when expected or at all, division of management’s attention from ongoing business operations and opportunities, potential adverse reactions or changes to business or employee relationships, the ability to integrate Kites successfully, and other factors that may affect future results of Zoom. Additional risks and uncertainties that could cause actual outcomes and results to differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements are included under the caption “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in our most recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), including our quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended April 30, 2021. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date the statements are made and are based on information available to Zoom at the time those statements are made and/or management’s good faith belief as of that time with respect to future events. Zoom assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date they were made, except as required by law.

About Zoom
Zoom is for you. We help you express ideas, connect to others, and build toward a future limited only by your imagination. Our frictionless communications platform is the only one that started with video as its foundation, and we have set the standard for innovation ever since. That is why we are an intuitive, scalable, and secure choice for individuals, small businesses, and large enterprises alike. Founded in 2011, Zoom is publicly traded (NASDAQ:ZM) and headquartered in San Jose, California. Visit zoom.com and follow @zoom.

About Kites
Karlsruhe Information Technology Solutions – Kites GmbH is a start-up company founded in 2015 by Dr. Sebastian Stüker and Dr. Alex Waibel with the express purpose of transforming the latest research in speech translation technology into viable products. Kites’ mission is breaking down language barriers and making seamless cross-language interaction a reality of everyday life. Kites aims to provide custom services to its customers in order to provide technology and services that fit and are operated and maintained at the necessary quality levels.

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