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Statement regarding the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens

By John Sitilides1 <>, Executive Director, The Western Policy Center

Sacramento, CA. 5 September 1997

"The announcement by the International Committee that Athens will host the Olympic Games in 2004 will have a profound effect on Greek foreign relations, especially with Turkey.

"International interest in peace and stability in the region has been instantly elevated, as the world seeks to ensure that the climate for athletic competition is marked by cooperation and trust, in the finest spirit of the Olympic Games.

"Ankara must rethink its recent strategy of territorial claims, threats of war, and sovereignty violations, generating dangerous and unacceptable levels of tension in the Aegean Sea and in Cyprus. Athens has gained an excellent six-year opportunity to present its case to an international audience newly focused on security and good relations among Greece, Cyprus and Turkey.

"As host of the great modern sports spectacle, Greece's position as a forward-looking engine of democracy, stability and prosperity in the Balkan and eastern Mediterranean regions is further consolidated.

"The Athens 2004 Committee performed in outstanding fashion, conveying Greece's advantages in infrastructure, transportation, public safety and superb facilities, and its grand history as the birthplace of democracy and modern civilization.

"Congratulations are in order to the entire Athens 2004 Committee for successfully returning the Olympic Games to their ancient and modern home in Greece."

1[The Western Policy Center is a public policy corporation monitoring U.S. geostrategic interests in southeastern Europe.]