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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-03-08

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM meets Cyprus president, discusses meeting with Annan
  • [02] Cyprus President confers with President Papoulias
  • [03] People worldwide invited to 'live their myth' in Greece
  • [04] Stylianidis in Skopje for talks on Greek investments

  • [01] PM meets Cyprus president, discusses meeting with Annan

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos met in Athens on Wednesday for talks on the Cyprus issue and the Cyprus president's recent meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

    Afterwards, Karamanlis said the meeting with Annan was a positive development for the resumption of efforts to solve the Cyprus issue but stressed the need for careful preparation.

    "We cannot afford the luxury of a new failure," the Greek premier underlined.

    He said efforts for a Cyprus solution should progress with careful steps based on a well-prepared process, without pressing deadlines or arbitration, so as to achieve "a just and viable solution, based on UN decisions and resolutions and the new European reality."

    Karamanlis said his talks with Papadopoulos had covered the latest developments in the Cyprus issue in detail, as well as the prospects arising following the meeting with Annan.

    "It now lies with Turkey to show the same spirit of cooperation," he added.

    Asked if Athens fully agrees with the handling of the Annan meeting by Papadopoulos, the Greek premier reiterated that there was absolute coordination and understanding between the Greek and Cyprus governments.

    The decisions made recently by the European Union concerning the regulations for economic assistance to Turkish-Cypriots were also welcomed as positive by Karamanlis, who noted that the Austrian presidency's proposal contained points of great interest to the Cyprus Republic.

    He said his talks with Papadopoulos had covered Turkey's obligations to the EU, which Karamanlis said were "clearcut" and that the EU expected Ankara to carry them out.

    Questioned about the Greek-Cypriot side's strategy to bring about Turkey's implementation of the additional protocol extending customs union to Cyprus and the new EU member-states, Papadopoulos said that the European Commission's report in 2006 will refer to Turkey's progress toward EU entry, and will reiterate that Turkey has an obligation to meet its obligations to the EU.

    He also commented on the positions of the U.S. State Department concerning direct trade with the Turkish-occupied north section of Cyprus, noting that "the Americans wrongly believe that they can bring about reunification (of Cyprus) through direct trade with the Turkish-Cypriots".

    The talks between the two leaders were attended by Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, deputy foreign minister Yannis Valinakis and Minister of State Theodoros Roussopoulos.

    The prime minister gave a dinner in honour of the Cyprus president, who is due to hold talks with the leaders of the opposition parties in Parliament during the afternoon.

    ANA-MPA Copyright © 2004-2005 All rights reserved.

    [02] Cyprus President confers with President Papoulias

    Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos, in Greece on a working visit, met Wednesday with his Greek counterpart Karolos Papoulias.

    The two heads of state discussed the latest developments in the Cyprus issue, following Papadopoulos' recent meeting with UN secretary general Kofi Annan, and the prospects for resumption of the process for a resolution of the political problem.

    Afterwards, Papadopoulos had a meeting with prime minister Costas Karamanlis for an in-depth discussion of the Cyprus issue and his talks with Annan, followed by a working lunch.

    Later in the day, the Cyprus President is to meet separately with the leaders of the Greek opposition parties in Parliament.

    ANA-MPA Copyright © 2004-2005 All rights reserved.

    [03] People worldwide invited to 'live their myth' in Greece

    Greek Tourism Minister Fani Palli-Petralia on Wednesday invited the people of the world to visit Greece and "live their myth" in the country.

    Speaking to reporters, after inaugurating the Greek pavilion in the international tourism fair ITB in Berlin, Palli-Petralia said it was very significant that Greece was the honoured country in this year's fair and stressed that tourism was the main support of the Greek economy.

    The Greek pavilion includes more than 70 exhibitors from around Greece.

    The ITB will be inaugurated on Wednesday afternoon. It is the largest tourism fair in the world, with a record number of exhibitors (10,856) from 183 different countries. Its gates will open to the public on Friday.

    ANA-MPA Copyright © 2004-2005 All rights reserved.

    [04] Stylianidis in Skopje for talks on Greek investments

    SKOPJE (ANA - N. Melissova) Greek investments and the Greek plan for the economic reconstruction of the Balkans (ESOAB) dominated talks held here on Wednesday by Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Evripidis Stylianidis, during the second day of his visit to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

    After a brief meeting with FYROM's foreign minister Ilinka Mitreva, Stylianidis had a longer discussion with his FYROM counterpart Fuad Hasanovic that covered the ESOAB, protection of Greek investments and various matters for facilitating bilateral relations, such as the issue of Schengen visas and cross-border cooperation.

    The Greek minister underlined that Athens supports FYROM's European orientation and its conviction that economic and cultural cooperation will contribute to finding a mutually acceptable solution to the dispute with FYROM over its chosen name 'Republic of Macedonia'.

    "We share a vision of the European prospects of the Balkans and creating a sense of regional identity that will allow our countries to support one another within the EU for mutual benefit," he said.

    Stylianidis also had lengthy talks with FYROM Economics Minister Fatmir Besimi that again focused on the protection of Greek investments within FYROM and avoiding double taxation.

    The Greek minister noted that resolving these problems would increase the flow of Greek capital and investments into the country.

    He also reassured Besimi that Greece had activated its Balkan reconstruction plan with priority on Axis 10, for which it had set aside 74.8 billion from the Greek state budget.

    Besimi stressed that Greece was a very important trade partner for FYROM and currently the second-largest investor in the country, while it would soon be passing into first place.

    One issue covered by the talks was the long-stalled oil pipeline project between Thessaloniki and Skopje, which Besimi said was "a very important work for the Balkans region".

    The project has been delayed by a dispute over the timing and terms between the government in Skopje and the oil firm OKTA, which is controlled by the Greece-based Hellenic Petroleum, concerning the company's privatisation.

    The issue has gone to arbitration and, according to Besimi, Skopje's government is making every effort to find the best solution. Hellenic Petroleum has invested 200 million in FYROM for the pipeline and oil refineries and is employing 1,000 people.

    Stylianidis also noted Greece's desire to finance environmental projects, such as cleaning up the Axios river, through Hellenic Aid and again stressed that good cooperation by the two sides will create the conditions to bring them closer together and ensure FYROM's European prospects.

    ANA-MPA Copyright © 2004-2005 All rights reserved.


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