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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-05-19

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Greek-US relations "maturing", foreign ministry spokesman says
  • [02] President of Republic receives visiting Chinese government official

  • [01] Greek-US relations "maturing", foreign ministry spokesman says

    Greek-US relations were entering a stage of maturation and deepening, Greek foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos told a regular press briefing on Thursday, in reply to questions regarding prime minister Costas Karamanlis' visit to the US, on which he was due to depart later in the day.

    Koumoutsakos referred to the long-term prospects for bilateral relations between the two countries, adding however that the form of that cooperation had not been determined. He noted, however, thoughts of the holding of an international conference on the Middle East, which he said was one of the items on the table of discussins between the two sides.

    The discussions, he added, always advanced ideas for the consolidation of stability and peace in the wider region.

    Replying to questions on the situations in Iraq and Kosovo, Koumoutsakos said the goal continued to be stability and, in that context, Greece was called on to play the role corresponding to the country, utilising its comparative advantages from its capacity as a member of NATO and the EU, as a partner in the region, and as a non-permament member of the UN Security Council.

    On the course of Greek-Turkish relations, the spokesman said that Greece bases its positions on the conviction that the international rules and international treaties must be respected, and, based on that principle, the efforts for rapprochement were continuing.

    Regarding the course of the Cyprus issue, Koumoutsakos said the matter was at a specific procedural stage and, following cooperation between Athens and Nicosia, a specific approach has been adopted and was currently underway, which concerned the contacts taking place at the UN headquarters in New York.

    He noted that the talks at the UN have been described as 'investigative and preliminary' for a procedure that could prospectively be commenced.

    Questioned on the possibility of specific proposals on the Cyprus issue being submitted in the framework of Karamanlis' meeting with US president George Bush in Washington on Friday, Koumoutsakos said that the agenda items had already been formally announced, adding that the Cyprus issue was at a specific procedural stage, and that there was no issue of proposals being put forward on the part of the Greek foreign ministry.

    To a question on the anniversary of the genocide of the Pontian (Black Sea) Greeks, Koumoutsakos said that the Hellenic parliament has established May 19 as the Day of Memory of the Genocide of the Greeks of Pontos.

    Today, he said, we honour the memory of the victims and stress that Greece, with particular sensitivity, always contributes with all its power to every effort by the international community for the effective prevention, deep-rooted confrontation and elimination of every practice aimed against the values of freedom, human life and dignity.

    Replying to other questions, Koumoutsakos said that the foreign ministry had asked the authorities of Georgia for increased security measures for the citizens of Tsalka, adding that the security level in the region was not the desired one, and that international organisations, such as the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), in its relevant report, had stipulated suggestions and urgings in favour of the security of the citizens to the Georgian authorities.

    Koumoutsakos further announced that ambassador D. Kypraios had assumed the post of Special Coordinator for the Greek Presidency of the Inter-Balkan Cooperation, and that of National Coordinator for the Stability Pact.

    [02] President of Republic receives visiting Chinese government official

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Thursday received People's Republic of China State Councillor Chen Zhili, who is currently visiting Athens.

    Later, the president also received New Democracy MEP Ioannis Varvitsiotis.

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