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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-11-10

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Molyviatis and President agree: EU decisions on Turkey, FYROM a 'success' for Greece
  • [02] Nationalists protest outside Ecumenical Patriarchate

  • [01] Molyviatis and President agree: EU decisions on Turkey, FYROM a 'success' for Greece

    The European Commission's decisions concerning the European progress made by Turkey and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia were a "notable success" for Greek foreign policy, Greek Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis said on Thursday after briefing President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on foreign policy developments.

    The minister stressed that all issues that were of special interest to Greece and Cyprus had been "covered in a very satisfactory way by the EU's decisions", while expressing his satisfaction at "such an important development".

    Papoulias, himself a veteran of the foreign ministry where he served for many years under PASOK governments, concurred with the view that things had gone "extremely well" for Greece.

    Asked about the provocative incidents by Turkey's "Grey Wolves" extremists outside the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul, Molyviatis agreed that the incidents were just that - provocations.

    While noting that the specific incidents did not involve more than 150-200 people, Molyviatis pointed out that the significance of the Commission's decisions lay in that Turkey's obligations had been upgraded to criteria.

    It was on the basis of these criteria that Turkey's progress toward European integration would be judged," he added.

    Concerning a planned visit by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis to Ankara, the foreign minister reiterated that the visit will take place "at a date agreed via the diplomatic route by the two sides".

    Papoulias and Molyviatis also exchanged views on the president's meeting with his Armenian counterpart Robert Kocharian and bilateral ties between Greece and Armenia.

    [02] Nationalists protest outside Ecumenical Patriarchate

    Istanbul (ANA/A. Kourkoulas) -- A group of approximately 100 Turkish nationalists staged a rally outside the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Phanar on Thursday to protest against a meeting between members of the Church of Cyprus Holy Synod with Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos.

    The meeting, which took place after the demonstration dispersed, was scheduled to discuss the problems faced by the Church of Cyprus due to the illness of its prelate, Archbishop Chrysostomos.

    During the demonstration, Demal Keridssiz, leader of the Turkish 'National Power' organisation, which staged the protest, had told the demonstrators that "our actions have produced the result, and we achieved the cancellation of the gathering at the Patriarchate...This gathering will not take place today."

    Akidssiz said "our problem is not with the minorities or with the Churches, which fulfill their true duties in Turkey, but with the Patriarchate's efforts to politicise itself...this is what we object to", and claimed that the Treaty of Lausanne was being violated "and the Patriarchate has exceeded being a religious insititution and has become a political one".

    The protestors were holding placards with slogans such as 'Don't toy with our patience, Patriarch', 'The ecumenicality is a game of the EU and the US', 'Erdogan, resign', 'The TRNC lives', 'Patriarch, forget the (Halki) Theology School, open the gate of hatred', and 'The Patriarchate (should be) in Greece'.

    The Turkish police had taken stringent security measures in the entire area surrounding the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and the demonstration ended without incident.

    The same group had organised a similar protest outside the Ecumenical Patriarchate approximately two weeks earlier.

    In a statement after meeting the Cypriot delegation, the Patriarch expressed regret that it coincided with the "rioting once again taking place in front of the Patriarchate" and stressed that "this too shall pass".

    Regarding the results of the meeting, Vartholomeos noted that visits by prelates of other churches to the Patriarchate were always a cause of joy because they were an opportunity to exchange views for the good of the Church.

    "The Orthodox Church, in spite of its administrative differences, is one. The problems of one are also problems of the other," he said.

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