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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-04-13

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM sends letters to U.S., NATO and EU leadership over FYROM name issue
  • [02] FM Petros Molyviatis visits Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos
  • [03] Greek foreign minister concludes meetings with Turkish officials in Ankara
  • [04] President Papoulias receives Chinese Parliament vice-chairperson

  • [01] PM sends letters to U.S., NATO and EU leadership over FYROM name issue

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis has sent out letters to influential world leaders, the heads of EU institutions and NATO, outlining Greek positions on the latest U.N. proposal for resolving a dispute with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia over its use of the name 'Macedonia', the prime minister's office announced on Wednesday.

    The first letters were sent to U.S. President George Bush and the current president of the European Council Jean-Claude Juncker last Friday, while on Monday letters were sent out to European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.

    In the letters, Karamanlis states that he is "personally ready to support an agreement at this time" and that Greece is therefore "ready to enter this final stage of negotiations with a positive and constructive stance, in order to arrive at a mutually acceptable solution".

    "For the first time since the signature of the Interim Agreement by the two sides on 13 September 1995, the U.N. Secretary General's Special Representative Matthew Nimetz has submitted a proposal in the form of a comprehensive draft Security Council resolution concerning a final settlement of this outstanding issue. Specifically, the name proposed by the Special Representative is 'Republika Makedonija-Skopje', untranslated. This name will be used officially in the framework of the U.N. system. In addition, the proposal recommends that the name be adopted by other international organisations, as well as States, for official international use."

    "The constitutional name 'Republika Makedonija' will continue to be used in the interior of FYROM, which means that no constitutional change is required that might have negative repercussions on the Ochrid Agreement of 2001. This proposal does not fully satisfy our positions but we are prepared to accept it as a basis for a solution. For fifteen years, various factors prevented a solution between the two countries. Personally, I am ready to support an agreement now," Karamanlis wrote.

    He also stressed that a solution will contribute to the stability of the entire region and lift a major obstacle in FYROM's course toward integration with Euro-Atlantic structures, describing the proposal as a "unique window of opportunity" for both sides.

    Greece objects to the use of the name 'Macedonia' by its northern neighbour on the grounds that it might encourage expansionist policies against Greece. Greeks are also incensed by the attempts of FYROM Slavs to "usurp" the famous Macedonian general of antiquity Alexander the Great, whose ancient kingdom lay roughly within the borders of the present-day Greek province of Macedonia, from whom they claim descent.

    [02] FM Petros Molyviatis visits Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos

    ISTANBUL (ANA - A. Kourkoulas) - Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis visited Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos at the Phanar on Wednesday and expressed satisfaction for being there once again.

    "It is a great honour and joy to be here at the Phanar," Molyviatis said. "We discussed with the Ecumenical Patriarch issues concerning the Patriarchate and expatriate Greeks," he said, adding that "we once again expressed to the Ecumenical Patriarch our determination to be of help."

    The Ecumenical Patriarch said on his part that "we discussed Orthodoxy, the nation and the promotion of Greek-Turkish relations. (...) We, as an ecclesiastical institution and I personally, as a human being, are always in favour of good relations and of love," Vartholomeos said.

    He also noted that relations between Greece and Turkey have a direct impact on the Ecumenical Patriarchate and on expatriate Greeks.

    [03] Greek foreign minister concludes meetings with Turkish officials in Ankara

    ANKARA (ANA - M. Savva) Greek Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis on Wednesday wrapped up a working visit to Ankara, where he had a series of meetings with Turkish officials over the past two days.

    Commenting on incidents during his visit involving a Turkish patrol boat that entered Greek territorial waters near the Imia islets - over which Greece and Turkey have in the past come to the brink of open conflict - Molyviatis said his visit to Ankara had "provided the opportunity to use all the means that exist for preventing incidents in the Aegean from developing into a crisis."

    The Greek foreign minister said his visit to Turkey had been good and satisfactory and that the two sides had reaffirmed their to continue efforts for improving cooperation.

    "We were also given the opportunity to have talks with the entire Turkish leadership on individual issues, such as cooperation in tourism, transport, energy and trade," he added.

    On Wednesday afternoon, Molyviatis had met Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who extended an invitation to Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis to visit Turkey.

    According to Molyviatis, the visit will take place very soon.

    Earlier, Molyviatis had meet the chairman of the Turkish Parliament's Foreign Affairs Commission Mehmet Dulger and the General Secretary of the National Security Board Yigit Alpogan.

    [04] President Papoulias receives Chinese Parliament vice-chairperson

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias received at the Presidential Mansion on Wednesday the Vice-Chairwoman of the Standing Committee of National Peoples Congress of China, He Luli, who is currently on a visit to Athens.
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