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Athens News Agency: News in English, 03-01-06

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Simitis: Quest for Cyprus solution should not be delayed

  • [01] Simitis: Quest for Cyprus solution should not be delayed

    06/01/2003 12:25:56

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis emphasised domestic issues as his governments priorities for 2003, although in terms of foreign affairs, he did predict that the ongoing Iraq crisis will remain within the UNs jurisdiction.

    In an interview carried by the Sunday edition of ?To Vima? newspaper, Simitis also touched on recent developments in neighbouring Turkey vis-a-vis the timely Cyprus issue, saying the view promoting closer integration with Europe appears stronger in Turkey.

    However, he warned against any ?foot-dragging? as far as a long-sought solution is concerned for the divided east Mediterranean island republic.

    ?It is a mistake for anyone to believe that because a date was given to Turkey for (EU accession) talks in 2004 then the Cyprus issue can also wait.?

    Touching on the Greek EU presidencys priorities in the first half of 2003, the premier said Athens would continue its predecessors (Denmark) policy of ?urging Ankara to maintain a productive stance towards efforts at solving the Cyprus problem?.

    In terms of the European Union, Simitis said whats needed is for a Union able to consolidate the notion that member-states can collectively provide better solutions to the modern eras challenges.

    Iraq crisis

    Regarding the controversial Iraq question, Simitis called on EU countries to seek a unified position regarding the matter and to try and avoid a war.

    Simitis, who assumes the EU presidency until the end of June, added that the UNs resolutions should guide the blocs policy vis-a-vis Iraq, before noting that Athens goal will be to iron-out a common stance by all 15 member-states.

    Moreover, the Greek premier said he has already discussed the issue of a common stance with the leaders of the Unions major powers, namely, France, Germany and Britain.


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