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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-07-30

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Foreign minister floats five-point plan for Lebanon
  • [02] Main opposition deplores Israeli attack on Qana
  • [03] Greece strongly condemns Israeli killings in Qana

  • [01] Foreign minister floats five-point plan for Lebanon

    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis on Sunday released a five-point proposal for Lebanon focusing on an immediate cease-fire and humanitarian aid, which Greece will put forward at international meetings on the war-torn country.

    "...(the situation) has deteriorated into a crisis of major importance. Now is the time for the UN Security Council to involve itself directly, and as soon as possible," Bakoyannis said in a statement to the Sunday Thema and Typos on Sunday newspapers.

    The Greek proposal is as follows:

  • An immediate cease-fire to halt human loss of life and allow time for diplomacy

  • Concerted action on humanitarian aid and its safe passage

  • Sovereignty for Lebanon's government throughout the country; release of Israeli soldiers; and disarmament of paramilitary groups in line with UN resolutions 1559 and 1680

  • Progress in the Palestinian issue by reactivating an earlier road map

  • Incorporation into the international community of countries in the region that are willing to help.

    Deputy Foreign Minister Theodoros Kassimis told the Vradyni on Sunday newspaper that the crisis in Lebanon demonstrated that Greece and Cyprus were a factor for peace and stability in southeastern Europe, as well as a source of humaneness.

    "Greece and Cyprus can play a major role in the region as they do not promote narrow national interests," Kassimis noted.

    Asked whether Greece would take part in a peace-keeping force in Lebanon, he said that this would have to be sought by decision of the UN; and Greek involvement would depend on the nature of any mandate given by the UN Security Council.

    [02] Main opposition deplores Israeli attack on Qana

    The main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) on Sunday deplored an Israeli airstrike on Qana, Lebanon that left more than 60 unarmed civilians dead.

    "Today's tragedy with the Israeli offensive on Qana and the death of unarmed citizens and young children has provoked abhorrence and condemnation from us all. It is the outcome of a war that must stop immediately. It must stop now," party leader George Papandreou said in Zakynthos.

    "As long as this war lasts, we shall be mourning for unarmed people. This war must stop now and the way to peace must be paved with the help of the international community," Papandreou urged.

    He added that he had spoken to Lebanese president Emile Lahoud, who asked him to take initiatives that would end the war.

    Papandreou accused the Greek government of failing to take a policy stand over troubles in the Middle East, in sharp contrast to PASOK.

    "It is passively watching what is happening...Greece's voice in the interational arena is fading," he added.

    [03] Greece strongly condemns Israeli killings in Qana

    Greece on Sunday strongly condemned an Israeli airstrike in the Lebanese village of Qana in which 54 people died.

    "The tragedy in Qana has left us all aghast - full of abhorrence and deeply-felt grief. Nothing can justify the mass killing of unarmed people," the foreign ministry's spokesman, George Koumoutsakos, said in a statement.

    "We condemn those acts that have added yet another bloody episode in the vicious circle of violence in Lebanon witnessed in the last one and a half months," the spokesman noted.

    He also recalled that Greece had from the first sought an immediate end to the violence.

    "Now the need for an immediate halt to hostilities and for a truce is more pressing than ever. The international community, all of us, must act responsibly and without delay," the spokesman added.


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