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A.N.A. Bulletin 24/3/95

From: " Greek Press Office BBS, Ottawa" < grnewsca@sympatico.ca>

ATHENS NEWS AGENCY BULLETIN, March 24, 1995
===========================================
Ellnviko Grafeio Tupou kai Plnroforiwv
Ottawa, Canada
E-Mail Address: grnewsca@sympatico.ca)



CONTENTS
========
[1] Greek position on UN talks on Skopje unchanged, embargo will
remain for time being

[2] Greece urges immediate EU action as troika calls for speedy end
to Turkish Iraq raid

[3] Troika tells Ankara to pull out of Iraq

[4] Iakovos to discuss Greek positions with Clinton Monday

[5] Delvinaki seven remanded in custody

[6] Cypriot president honours Greek defence minister

[7] Kouris at Paris meeting on armaments policy
================================================================


[1] Greek position on UN talks on Skopje unchanged, embargo will
remain for time being
----------------------------------------------------------------
Athens, 24/03/1995 (ANA):

Greece reiterated yesterday that it remained firm in its
position of participating in UN-sponsored contacts on the issue
of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) as well as
on its trade sanctions against Skopje and the prerequisites for
recognising the neighbouring state.

" Only if there are tangible moves by Skopje on the issue of the
(ancient Greek) symbols and (FYROM's) constitution can the Greek
countermeasures be lifted," government spokesman Evangelos
Venizelos said in response to questions.

The spokesman ruled out the possibility of Athens suspending its
embargo prior to the commencement of direct talks at the UN. He
also reiterated that there had been some encouraging signs
indicating a softening of Skopje's intransigence, signs " which
emerge from information which Greece has from the UN" .

Greece has imposed trade sanctions as retortion measures against
Skopje in an effort to force it to curb its intransigence and
change its name, remove the ancient Greek symbols from its flag
and amend its constitution expressing expansionist designs
against Greece's northern province of Macedonia.

Mr. Venizelos declined to comment on statements by Skopje
officials. FYROM Foreign Minister Stevo Crvenkovski said
Wednesday that it was " too soon" to begin direct talks with
Greece.

Mr. Crvenkovski had also refuted reports that Skopje had agreed
to drop ancient Greek symbols on its flag and amend its
constitution in a trade-off that would see trade sanctions
imposed by Greece removed and the establishment of diplomatic
relations with the US.

" We have clearly stated that we do not accept the embargo to
become an object of negotiations, neither are we willing to
agree to any concession in order to have the embargo removed,"
Mr. Crvenkovski said.

Meanwhile, it was announced that Foreign Minister Karolos
Papoulias replied positively to an invitation from UN mediator
Cyrus Vance for talks on April 6 in New York with Greek and
FYROM representatives to examine ways of resolving the dispute
between the two countries.

Making the announcement, Foreign Ministry spokesman Costas Bikas
said that Mr. Vance requested both sides to be present at the
talks. It is not yet known whether Mr. Papoulias himself or a
representative will participate in the talks in New York.

Commenting on the Foreign Ministry announcement, opposition
Political Spring party leader Antonis Samaras said the
government has made a fatal mistake despite Prime Minister
Andreas Papandreou's public commitment that a dialogue with
Skopje was tantamount to a de facto recognition of Skopje. " But
history never offers the same opportunity twice," Mr. Samaras
said, " and therefore the government's responsibilities are
enormous."



[2] Greece urges immediate EU action as troika calls for speedy
end to Turkish Iraq raid
----------------------------------------------------------------
Athens, 24/033/1995 (ANA):

Greece said yesterday Turkey's military drive into Iraq demanded
the immediate attention and intervention of the European Union.
" Greece is closely observing developments in northern Iraq which
could affect the region's security and stability. Our country
expresses deep concern and stresses the need for immediate
intervention by the European Union presidency," said Foreign
Ministry spokesman Costas Bikas.

He made the statement as the EU's " troika" of the foreign
ministers of Germany, France and Spain met in Ankara and warned
that Turkey's incursion could harm a planned customs unions deal
between the EU and Turkey.

The EU troika called on Ankara to put an end to it " as speedily
as possible." Speaking for the 15-member European Union, French
Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said the Europeans were " worried by
the massive character of the intervention, going way beyond its
right to pursue" suspected terrorists into Iraqi territory.

" As a country belonging to the greater region, Greece expresses
deep concern and stresses the need for the immediate
intervention of the European Union presidency," Mr. Bikas said.
At the same time, government spokesman Evangelos Venizelos said
that because of Greece's sensitivity on the issue, Athens was
raising the matter with the EU and requesting " the activation of
Community bodies" , namely the French presidency, the Council o f
Ministers and the EU troika.

Mr. Bikas also referred to earlier statements by Mr. Juppe
calling on Turkey to respect Iraq's territorial integrity and
the human rights of the inhabitants of the region.

A customs union agreement signed between the EU and Turkey
earlier this month hinges on ratification by the European
Parliament, which has said it may block the deal because of
Turkey's poor human rights record, citing in particular the
conviction of eight Kurdish deputies and the continuing
occupation of Cyprus.

The main opposition New Democracy party yesterday denounced
" Turkish atrocities against the Kurds" , adding that one " had no
right to remain silent over the massacre of this people. An
announcement by the party further denounced what it called
" Turkish barbarity" and called on the international community to
be vigilant before " it is too late" . It also criticised the
government for " observing a provocative and inconceivable
silence" . ND said it would refer the issue for discussion to
international fora in which it participated.

Communist Party of Greece Secretary-General Aleka Papariga said
that following the signing of the customs union agreement with
the EU, Turkey " now finds itself in an advantageous position and
is proceeding with the genocide of the Kurds." Ms Papariga
criticised the EU for its position on the issue, foreseeing that
there would be " serious redistributions (of power) which will
deal a blow against the peoples of the region."



[3] Troika tells Ankara to pull out of Iraq
-------------------------------------------
Ankara, 24/03/1995 (ANA - E. Athanasopoulou/A. Kourkoulas):

The European Union's troika of foreign ministers called on
Ankara yesterday to pull its troops out of northern Iraq as
speedily as possible, find a political solution to the Kurdish
issue and complete democratic reforms in the country. They also
reiterated the importance Europe places on Turkey.

The Cyprus issue was also discussed at a working lunch, European
Council President Alain Juppe told a press conference in Ankara.
He said the EU's decisions " create d a momentum" for progress in
the Cyprus issue and that " resolving the issue is the target"
which will anticipate whatever had been included in UN
resolutions.

" We are expecting greater progress in talks after the Turkish
Cypriot 'elections'," Mr. Juppe said, adding that Turkey could
play a positive role in this respect. He said the agreement
reached on March 6 on customs union was a " starting point" and
not an end in itself, noting that the Turkish government had to
take specific legislative action for customs union to be
concluded.

He said the state of democracy and human rights and the Kurdish
problem were " obstacles" which had to be overcome, adding the
Turkish operation in northern Iraq to these and expressing
concern both over the repercussions it had from the point of
view of international law and the fate of civilian populations.

Replying to a questioner on whether latest developments had
affected the possibility of the customs union being concluded,
Mr. Juppe said " if the European Parliament were to vote on the
issue tomorrow it is very likely that it would vote against the
agreement, but there is still time."

German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel and Spanish Foreign
Minister Javier Solana met yesterday with Turkish Prime Minister
Tansu Ciller, Foreign Minister Murat Karayalcin and Republican
Popular Party leader and former foreign minister Hikmet Cetin.
Diplomats accompanying the troika disclosed that the issue of an
immediate pullout from northern Iraq was put bluntly to Turkey's
leadership. The mission also included European External
Relations Commissioner Hans van den Broek.



[4] Iakovos to discuss Greek positions with Clinton Monday
----------------------------------------------------------
Athens, 24/03/1995 (ANA):

Archbishop Iakovos of North and South America said yesterday he
would convey Greece's positions on its national issues to US
President Bill Clinton, whom he is due to meet at the White
House on Monday. Iakovos was speaking to reporters after a
45-minute meeting with Mr. Papoulias at the end of a two-day
official visit to Greece.

The Orthodox primate leaves for New York today to head events
planned by the Greek-American community to celebrate
Independence Day on March 25. He will meet with President
Clinton on Monday for the annual signing of the Proclamation of
National Independence of Greece and the United States.

Replying to reporters' questions, Iakovos again expressed the
hope that Jerusalem would remain the capital of Judaism,
Christianity and Islam. Together with other Christian leaders,
Iakovos has signed a letter to President Clinton in support of
their position that Jerusalem should not become a political
capital.

Iakovos also held a meeting yesterday with Education and
Religious Affairs Minister George Papandreou to discuss issues
concerning overseas Greeks and future co-operation between the
Greek state and the Archdiocese of North and South America.



[5] Delvinaki seven remanded in custody
---------------------------------------
Athens, 24/03/1995 (ANA):

The seven gunmen arrested on the Greek-Albanian border Sunday
were remanded in custody yesterday for possession of weapons,
judicial sources said in Ioannina, Northwest Greece.

During a five-hour testimony, the group denied allegations of
involvement in an ultra-nationalist movement known as the North
Epirus Liberation Organisation (MAVI). They said they were
touring the region and found the guns in a hidden cache during
their hike. They said they planned to turn over the weapons to
the police.

The group denied involvement in MAVI activities, but conceded
they were members of organisations promoting improved relations
between Greece and Albania.



[6] Cypriot president honours Greek defence minister
----------------------------------------------------
Nicosia, 24/03/1995 (ANA - G. Zarkadis/CNA):

Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides honoured here yesterday
Greece's National Defence Minister Gerasimos Arsenis with the
Makarios III Grand Cross, the republic's highest distinction, in
recognition of his efforts to implement a joint Greco-Cypriot
defence doctrine.

The solemn ceremony took place at the presidential palace
shortly after the arrival of the Greek minister in Cyprus for a
four-day official visit, at the invitation of his Cypriot
counterpart Costas Eliades.

Present at the ceremony were the head of the Cyprus Church
Archbishop Chrysostomos, the president of the House of
Representatives Alexis Galanos, the members of the cabinet and
the military and police leadership.

President Clerides said the joint defence area is proof that
Greece has decided to fulfil its national obligations towards
the Cypriot people, who are struggling for physical and national
survival, as well as its conventional obligations for the
protect ion of Cyprus' independence, sovereignty and territorial
integrity. Greece, together with Turkey and Britain, were
guarantors of Cyprus' independence under the 1960 treaty of
establishment of the Cyprus republic.

The Greek defence minister described the honour bestowed on him
as " one of the most important moments of his career" . He said he
came to Cyprus for the implementation of the second phase of the
joint defence area, which was agreed upon by President Clerides
and Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou in November 1993.

Mr. Arsenis stressed that the decision taken by the two
governments was purely defensive and did not work against
anybody. The minister noted that the two countries are
protecting their national rights and added the doctrine creates
" better objective preconditions" for the negotiation and
solution of the protracted Cyprus problem.

Replying to a question regarding foreign objections to the
Greece-Cyprus joint defence programme, especially by the United
States, Mr. Arsenis said Greece had " clearly explained" to all
its allies what it was about. He said foreign reactions could
not delay the implementation of the defence dogma.

President Clerides said the joint programme was a necessity
because of the presence of more than 35,000 Turkish troops in
the island's northern third since 1974. Before the ceremony,
President Clerides had a 30-minute meeting with Mr. Arsenis.
Also present were Mr. Eliades, Greek Ambassador in Nicosia
Alexandros Sandis and Under-Secretary to the President Pantelis
Kouros.



[7] Kouris at Paris meeting on armaments policy
-----------------------------------------------
Paris, 24/03/1995 (ANA - G. Zitouniati):

Defence Under-Secretary Nikos Kouris yesterday represented
Greece at the informal meeting of the Western European Armaments
Group (WEAG), which met under the chairmanship of French Defence
Minister Francois Leotard.

The session examined issues such as the importance of armaments
in the creation of Europe and armaments policy from the
operational point of view. The reduction in defence spending in
most countries as a result of the collapse of communism caused a
crisis in the armaments industry and has fuelled the need for
European Union countries to unite their technological and
industrial forces in order to compete with the US.

" The effort for the creation of a European market," said Mr.
Kouris, " is obviously connected with the Maastricht Treaty, and
the provisions for external policy and defence. But it does not
mean it will be a closed protected market so that countries may
receive the largest possible returns from the money they devote
to defence. It must not be a closed system where production and
consumption is exhausted in Europe" .

***************************************************************

The Bulletin will not appear tomorrow due to the Greek national
holiday. The next issue will appear on Monday, March 27.

***************************************************************
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