Athens News Agency
Belgrade, 17 July 1998

A total of 540 orphans and children of refugees from the "Serbian Republic" of Bosnia and Serbia have left Belgrade for Greece, where they will be hosted over the summer by various municipalities and communities in the country.

The mission was organised for the fourth time this year by the Central Union of Municipalities and Communities of Greece (KEDKE) in cooperation with the Red Cross and the Yugoslav Red Cross.

Athens ambassador to Belgrade, Panayiotis Vlassopoulos, who bid the children farewell at the Belgrade train station, said that hospitality for these children in Greece constitutes only a portion of the humanitarian aid which Greece-based local governments and organisations have been providing for Yugoslavia since war broke out in the neighbouring country. He also said these initiatives contribute to the strengthening of Greek-Serb relations, while also helping the children to forget their hardships for a while.

Mr. Vlassopoulos said that with this programme by KEDKE, more than 2,000 children have been given hospitality in Greece so far.

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