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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-06-28

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Greek leaders underline Ankara's EU obligations

  • [01] Greek leaders underline Ankara's EU obligations

    Political party leaders, including Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, on Wednesday reiterated from Parliament's podium that EU hopeful Turkey must absolutely meet all of the Union's criteria for future membership, during a special plenum session convened to honor Greek air force pilots killed in the line of duty.

    The session followed last month's unprecedented mid-air collision in the southeastern Aegean between Greek and Turkish fighter planes (both US-made F-16s), an incident that resulted in the death of the Greek pilot, Costas Iliakis.

    Karamanlis stressed that conclusions from a recent European Council clearly refer to a binding framework governing Ankara's behaviour, calling on Turkish leadership to forever abandon "any action that does not contribute to peace".

    He also reminded that Greek governments over the past few years have solidly supported the predominately Muslim country's European orientation, "but this course, however, is wholly dependent on it (Turkey). For this course to proceed it (Turkey) must fulfill its obligations. Let there be no misunderstanding on this point by anyone."

    On his part, main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou referred to Athens' responsibility to "exploit diplomacy in order to avoid solutions through war and solutions that do not consolidate regional peace and protect sovereign rights." He also called on Turkey to respect all its committments towards the international community and the EU.

    Communist Party (KKE) general secretary Aleka Papariga repeated her party's standing policy in decrying what she referred to as the situation in the Aegean "due to the demands and threats by Turkey and the substantive support towards the latter by the United States, NATO and the EU, as well as capitulations of PASOK and ND governments".

    Coalition of the Left (Synaspismos) leader Alekos Alavanos referred to Iliakis as the 115th airman killed in the line of duty since 1974, noting that the state should take all "necessary and radical initiatives" so that he is the last to sacrifice his life, including a forceful emphasis on the Union's acquis communautaire and the international Law of Sea vis-?-vis EU hopeful Turkey.

    Finally, Parliament President Anna Psarouda-Benaki referred to the symbolic adoption of Iliakis' two underage children by Parliament until they reach adulthood.

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