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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-08-02

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greece hails French PM's statements on Turkey

  • [01] Greece hails French PM's statements on Turkey

    Foreign Ministry Spokesman George Koumoutsakos said in an announcement on Tuesday that the statements by French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin according to which "it is inconceavable" for the European Union to start negotiations with Turkey as long as it does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus, "apparently carry particular weight."

    Koumoutsakis said:"We have made clear that the non-recognition of a member state of the European Union by another country which seeks its accession to it apparently constitutes an apparent political and institutional contradiction and paradox, alien to the European rationalism."

    The foreign ministry spokesman said that "within this context, today's statements by French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, apparently have particular weight."

    Koumoutsakos added:"We have also repeatedly underlined that this contradiction in which Turkey itself chose to find itself in, must cease. The sooner the better. We insist on this position."

    He went on to say:"We will take a definite position on the matter of the start of Turkey's accession negotiations at the agencies of the European Union which will take the relevant decisions. At the same time, our position remains the support of the European prospects of Turkey, which, however, must develop in accordance with the principles, rules and values of the European Union".

    Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valynakis stated that the non-recognition of Cyprus by Turkey, that is, of a member state constitutes a European paradox .

    The deputy minister said that "the continuation of this paradox will shadow Turkey's accession negotiations and for this reason it must be lifted as soon as possible."

    Within this context, the statement by French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin has particular importance, Valynakis said. "Greece's position regarding the accession negotiations of Turkey with the European Union will be presented to the relevant European agencies at the appropriate time," Valynakis said.

    On his part, main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) spokesman Nikos Athanasakis, in reference to the statement by French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, said that "the Greek government is faced with a serious dilemma, following the statement by French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, regarding Turkey's statement that with the signing of the extention of the customs union protocol, it did not recognise the Republic of Cuprus."

    Defining this dilemma to which, as Athanasakis said the Greek goverment is faced with, he stressed that the government "should either stop itself Turkey's accession course or support this course, having accepted to faits accomplis."

    Athanasakis also said that the government is at an impasse due to its stance at the EU summit last December, "a stance which was characterised from a lack of strategy and a clear position."


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