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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-05-20

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Premier Karamanlis confirms will to promote and deepen partnership relation and cooperation in talks with U.S. President Bush
  • [02] Greece the starting point for Japanese companies in SE Europe
  • [03] Greek-Chinese cooperation ahead of 2008 Games envisioned

  • [01] Premier Karamanlis confirms will to promote and deepen partnership relation and cooperation in talks with U.S. President Bush

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, speaking to reporters on Friday after holding talks with U.S. President George W. Bush at the White House, said "we confirmed our will to promote and deepen our partnership relation and cooperation on issues of mutual interest."

    Karamanlis was accomanied on his visit by Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis and Minister of State and government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos.

    "It is the second time that I am visiting Washington in the past year. We had a very friendly and productive discussion with President Bush on a series of issues of bilateral and international interest," Karamanlis said.

    The prime minister further said that Greece pays great attention to developments in the Balkans, where its strategic priorities are peace, stability and prosperity.

    "As regards Kosovo, Greece believes that the criteria must be implemented immediately at this stage, before the discussion begins on the final status in the region," he stressed.

    Karamanlis raised the issue of the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) with President Bush, saying that "Greece accepted the proposals by the UN Secretary General's special envoy Mr. Nimetz as a window of opportunity and as a basis for further negotiations. I regret to say that, unfortunately, the other side did not respond positively. I must stress that a mutually acceptable solution would also have a positive repercussion on our bilateral relations as well and on stability in the region, as well as on the Euro-Atlantic pursuits of the neighbouring country."

    The prime minister further said that the U.S. government can play a substantive role on this issue.

    According to reports, Karamanlis pointed out to President Bush that after many years an effort was made to find a solution, stressing that Skopje's stance is not constructive as it is not helping in finding a solution.

    He further stressed in his talks with the U.S. president that Greece is the first country in investments in FYROM, while mentioning that there are points in Nimetz's proposal with which the Greek government disagrees.

    Reports said that the climate was positive on the side of the U.S. that efforts and pressures must be strengthened for a mutually acceptable solution to be found on the issue of FYROM's name.

    On the question of Cyprus, Karamanlis said in his statements that Greece remains steadfastly orientated on a just and viable solution for the reunification of the island on the basis of the Annan plan and on UN Security Council resolutions, a solution which will be compatible with the principles and values of the European Union.

    "We must move with steady and careful steps forward," the prime minister said, while reports said that he told President Bush that the main pursuit of the two communities is the reunification of the island and that the European orientation of a reunited Cyprus is very important.

    Karamanlis also raised the issue of increasing military activity in the Aegean, noting that Greece has supported Turkey's European prospects and is working for a full normalisation of relations, adding that "of course, this must also be reflected in the attitude and the military activities of Turkey."

    The prime minister further mentioned that in the framework of the Security Council, of which Greece is a non-permanent member, Greece and the United States are orientated towards the promotion of the basic concepts and principles of peace and stability and of democracy.

    Karamanlis concluded his statements by saying that a very good and excellent climate prevailed in his talks with the U.S. president.

    U.S. President George W. Bush welcomes PM Costas Karamanlis at oval office, praises 'strategic cooperation' between Greece-U.S.

    Welcoming Karamanlis at the oval office, President Bush stressed the need of working together to spread freedom and peace.

    "It is my pleasure to welcome you again Mr. prime minister. America and Greece have a strategic cooperation. This is important for our peoples and it is important that we work together to spread freedom and peace. I want to welcome you here. The last time you were here we were speaking about the Olympic Games. I told the prime minister that I was confident that the government would safeguard the security of the Olympic Games. I was so confident that I sent my family. And not only did you keep your word, but my parents and some other relatives of mine had a fantastic time in your wonderful country. I look forward to the discussion I will be having with you on many issues, such as freedom in the wider Middle East and the Balkans. I look forward to discussing the best way to work together with the purpose of spreading freedom. I am proud that you are here and I welcome you to the United States," President Bush said.

    Replying to President Bush's welcoming statement, Karamanlis said "it is my second visit and meeting with President Bush over a period of almost a year and I have the pleasure of saying that it reflects the excellent bilateral relations we have and, of course, our determination to strengthen our cooperation to promote issues of common interest and the common targets we have. And I believe that this will be the result of this meeting. Namely, to continue to cooperate closely on issues which are very important for both of us and for the two countries."

    [02] Greece the starting point for Japanese companies in SE Europe

    Greek economy's export-oriented course will be enhanced with systematic steps and new initiatives, with the aim to strengthen its presence in markets outside Europe, Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis said on Friday.

    Speaking to reporters, during a news conference in Nagoya, Japan, Alogoskoufis stressed that Greece has significant prospects to promote its products in the Japanese market, the third largest in the world. "The results from our participation in EXPO 2005, and our meetings here will be clear in the mid-term," the Greek minister said.

    Agricultural Development Minister Evangelos Basiakos, speaking to reporters, refered to the promotion of quality Greek farm products in the Japanese market and stressed a number of ministry initiatives towards this direction. He particularly mentioned products such as olive oil, honey, mastiche, etc.

    Tourism Deputy Minister Anastasios Liaskos said he agreed, with his Japanese counterpart, to organise a big conference with the participation of all agencies from both countries with the aim to expand bilateral cooperation.

    Addressing an event on "Greece Day", held at the EXPO 2005, Alogoskoufis sent a message that Greece has all the preconditions and comparative advantages needed to become the starting point for every Japanese enterprise that seeks to begin activities in the developing market of Southeastern Europe. "Greece has invested more than 8.0 billion euros in the last 10 years," he said.

    EXPO 2005 is one of the largest trade fairs of the decade. The six-month event is expected to attract more than 15 million euros. A total of 127 countries participate in the fair.

    [03] Greek-Chinese cooperation ahead of 2008 Games envisioned

    Greece and China on Friday announced the creation of a joint committee assigned the task of developing a framework of cooperation ahead of the 2008 Olympic Games of Beijing.

    The announcement came during a meeting here between Alternate Culture Minister Fani Palli-Petralia and visiting Chinese State Councilor Chen Zhili, who led a large delegation of Chinese officials on the Athens visit.

    Petralia stressed that this bilateral cooperation will mainly focus on the exchange of Olympics-related know-how and experience gained during the Athens 2004 Games.

    On her part, Zhili expressed satisfaction with the bilateral talks here, which primarily covered sports, culture and education. She also congratulated Athens for the successful holding of the 2004 Summer Games.

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