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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-06-13

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PASOK, SYN leaders call for reduction of armaments

  • [01] PASOK, SYN leaders call for reduction of armaments

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou and Coalition of the Left, Movements and Progress (SYN) leader Alekos Alavanos on Tuesday said they shared common views on a series of foreign policy issues, following a 90-minute meeting at the SYN headquarters, and called for a reduction of armaments in order to "relieve" the Greek economy.

    After the meeting, held in the framework of an initiative recently announced by Papandreou aimed at forging a new national strategy in foreign policy, the PASOK leader told reporters that he and Alavanos agreed on the need to reduce aramaments so as to "relieve" the Greek economy and channel substantial funds to other sectors.

    They aslo agreed on a "peaceful discussion" with Turkey, and also called for the closure of the US base in Guantanamo, Cuba.

    Papandreou described his discussion with Alavanos as "very constructive", highlighting his position on the need for formulating a new national strategy, while at the same time underlining his position that Greece can exercise all its rights (emanating from international treaties), in a clear reference to extention of the country's territorial waters.

    He further opined that a "framework of peace and cooperation" could be formulated with Turkey "that will bring a divident of peace and can lead to a reduction of armaments".

    Papandreou called on the government to abandon what he called the "rationale of immobility" and to undertake the relevant initiatives.

    Replyint to questions regarding Turkey and Cyprus, Papandreou called on Ankara to comply with the relevant EU decisions as soon as possible.

    Alavanos, in turn, described the meeting as "very interesting", adding that Greece must not follow the "rationale of war", but neither should it remain in the present "status quo", which he said "financially burdens the peoples of both countries but at the same time allows Turkey to escalate its designs in the Aegean".

    The SYN leader stressed that there should be dialogue with Turkey, while at the same time international law should be utilised and, in that framework, the International Court of Justice at The Hague should also be utilised.

    Alavanos stressed that the Law of the Sea was an element of the acquis communautaire, noting that the 10 new EU member states were obliged to accept that agreement and, as such, Turkey must also accept it as well as lift its threat of war against Greece. It was not possible, he added, that Turkey was stipulating a threat of war, in essence against the European Union.

    The SYN leader proposed, and Papandreou agreed, that there be more detailed briefing on the exploratory talks between Geece and Turkey during the preceding PASOK governments' term in office, while at the same time he called on the present government to inform (the political parties) on what has been discussed in those talks under the New Democracy government.

    Papandreou and Alavanos further called on the ND government to call for the closure of the Guantanamo base, given Greece's non-permament seat in the UN Security Council.

    Stressing the need for Turkey to adopt the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, Papandreou stressed that this issue could comprise a fundamental element for a "second Helsinki", as proposed by his party, and in that framework Greece could also make use of its right to extend its territorial waters.

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