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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-02-11

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Turkey's National Assembly speaker emphasises improvement in Greek-Turkish relations
  • [02] Findings reveal presence of Phoenicians in Macedonia from 7th Century BC
  • [03] Greece welcomes Israeli-Palestinian cease-fire agreement
  • [04] FM Molyviatis meets Cyprus House Speaker Christofias

  • [01] Turkey's National Assembly speaker emphasises improvement in Greek-Turkish relations

    ISTANBUL (ANA/A.Kourkoulas) - Bulent Arinc, Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, emphasised the steady improvement of Greek-Turkish relations as he welcomed Greek Justice Minister Anastasios Papaligouras to the Turkish Grand National Assembly on Thursday.

    Arinc thanked Papaligouras for his visit and stressed that relations between Greece and Turkey are steadily improving both on a government level, as well as on a ministerial level.

    Papaligouras, on his part, said that the Greek government warmly supports Turkey's European prospects and stressed that "the government believes that this course will contribute to promoting and reinforcing Greek-Turkish relations."

    The Greek justice minister is in Ankara following an invitation by his Turkish counterpart Jemil Cicek.

    [02] Findings reveal presence of Phoenicians in Macedonia from 7th Century BC

    New data on the presence of the Phoenicians in the ports and the trade relations with ancient Macedonia from the 7th Century B.C. has been brought to light by an archaeological excavation in Karambournaki of Thessaloniki, northern Greece, a region which identifies itself with the region of ancient Thermi.

    The new findings (shells, urns and cups from the late 8th Century until the middle of the 7th Century B.C.) were discovered during a university excavation which is continuing and is under the supervision of Aristotelion University of Thessalonik professor Michalis Tiverios for the past ten years (since 1994).

    The new discoveries, in combination with other Phoenician urns which were found earlier in the same excavation, strengthen, according to professor Tiverios, proof of the presence of Phoenician traders in the region.

    The findings of the excavations were announced during the 18th congress on the archaeological work in Macedonia and Thrace which began on Thursday morning at Thessaloniki University and which will end on Saturday night.

    [03] Greece welcomes Israeli-Palestinian cease-fire agreement

    Greece on Thursday welcomed the cease fire announced by the Israel and the Palestian Authority as "an important step in the difficult road to peace".

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon declared a cease-fire on Tuesday at a summit in Egypt aimed at ending four years of bloodshed and reviving peace talks.

    "Greece welcomes with particular satisfaction the cease-fire agreement announced by the governments of Israel and the Palestinian Authority," Greece's foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos told a regular press briefing on Thursday.

    "The cease-fire agreement constitutes an important step in the difficult road to peace. It creates expectations for the substantive revival of the peace process and implementation f the Road Map, which is supported by the international community, in order to render a reality the vision of peaceful coexistence of the two peoples in the framework of two independent states: tht of Isarawl and that of a democratic and vialbe state of Palestine," Koumoutsakos said.

    "On this important step, which is an achievement in the peace efforts in the region, Greece congratulates the leaderships of the two sides, and at the same time praises the valuable contribution to this positive step of the Egyptian and Jordanian governments, as well as the prospect of normalisation of their diplomatic relations with Israel," the foreign ministry spokesman added.

    [04] FM Molyviatis meets Cyprus House Speaker Christofias

    Cyprus House Speaker and General Secretary of Cypriot left-wing AKEL party Demetris Christofias said on Thursday that Britain must understand that the Cypriots have feelings and dignity, which they stand up for, and called on the British ''to stop challenging the sentiments of the people of Cyprus on a daily basis, for our benefit and theirs.''

    Speaking in Athens after a meeting with Greek Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis, Christofias said the main aim is to rid Cyprus of the Turkish occupation of its northern third, noting that

    the big question put to Britain is what she wants, ''in an effort to make her understand that, while choosing Turkey over Cyprus, she must understand that the Cypriots have feelings and dignity, which they cannot but stand up for.''

    Replying to questions about his criticism against Britain, Christofias said he has expressed his views to Britain and noted that ''there are British interests in Cyprus, met through the Bases, which

    the Zurich-London agreements imposed.''

    ''No one wanted to ask for the dissolution of these Bases. Now and since 1960 we have many other internal problems, these problems were worsened after the invasion and occupation and became serious problems regarding relations with Turkey,'' Christofias said.

    Christofias added that he discussed the Cyprus problem and the prospects for a settlement with Molyviatis, noting that there was ''as usual common understanding about what is to happen.''

    Replying to questions, Christofias said the problems raised by the Turkish Cypriot side should be discussed but pointed out that ''we must also discuss the substance of the Cyprus problem, having in mind the results of the referenda.''

    In April 2004, separate simultaneous referenda were held on either side of the divide on a UN plan for a settlement.

    The plan was accepted by the Turkish Cypriot community and rejected by the Greek Cypriot community.

    Christofias is in Athens to attend the Greek Communist Party congress.


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