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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-06-18

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] FM sees possible plan for a united European Cyprus'
  • [02] Deputy FM Stylianidis in Egypt

  • [01] FM sees possible plan for a united European Cyprus'

    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis intimated at the possibility of a "Plan for a United European Cyprus" arising from the United Nations' reunification efforts, in an interview with an Athens daily in the paper's Sunday edition, as she reiterated that Athens and Nicosia were following a common strategy.

    Asked whether she saw a new plan by UN secretary general Kofi Annan for a Cyprus solution on the horizon, Bakoyannis spoke of a new plan, which could be entitled "Plan for a United European Cyprus". She explained that such a plan would arise from the UN process and be based on elements of work accomplished at the level of the Secretary General, the European reality which Cyprus has been "living" over the past two-and-a-half years -- Cyprus and nine other countries officially became members of the EU on May 1, 2004 -- and the volition of the two communities on the divided island republic.

    Asked whether the drafting of such a plan has commenced, Bakoyannis stressed that there was a new momentum following the meeting between Cyprus president Tassos Papadopoulos and the UN chief in Paris earlier in the year, and she expressed hope that talks would being soon at the technical committees' level but also with discussions of substance.

    Questioned on her relations with Papadopoulos, Bakoyannis replied that "they are what the relations between the President of the Republic of Cyprus with the foreign minister of Greece should be". Asked whether they had different views as to how Cyprus and Greece should act on the issue, Bakoyannis said that "dialogue, in such instances, is always the best recipe".

    "Our strategy is a common strategy. Other than that, there may sometimes be diverging views on specific tactical moves. But the constant contact, dialogue and cooperation lead to the best result," she explained.

    Greek-Turkish affairs

    Turning to Greek-Turkish differences, Bakoyannis reiterated that the way to the "Hague" (the International Court of Justice at The Hague) was a long one, and first of all "we must conclude the subject of recourse to The Hague".

    Referring to preparations for such an eventuality by the Greek side, Bakoyannis said preparations have been ongoing in the past years, "but this does not mean we are close to the signing of a compromissum. There is no preparation that gives us this feeling".

    She rejected criticism by the main opposition PASOK party that the present government had abandoned the Helsinki process.

    "Quite the opposite, we strengthened it", Bakoyannis said, stressing: "The decisions taken at EU level placed the bilateral matters on a new basis. The Greek-Turkish issues were rendered EU-Turkish issues. A tangible example is the common position of the EU '25', ahead of the Association Council, last week, which refers, inter alia, to Imvros and Tenedos, the properties of the Greeks of Istanbul, the Ecumenical Patriarchate, good neighbourliness, the Aegean, issues which no longer concern only us. They concern the EU. At bilateral level, were remained unwavering in the search, via the talks, for the procedure that will lead to resolution of some of our issues, such as, for example, recourse to The Hague."

    Regarding the prospect of a visit to Ankara by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, Bakoyannis said it was being prepared via diplomatic channels.

    "I don't have a date to give you, at this time. However, it will be preceded by Mr. (Abdullah) Gul's (the Turkish foreign minister) visit to Athens," Bakoyannis said, adding that the Turkish foreign minister's visit here would take place before October.

    [02] Deputy FM Stylianidis in Egypt

    Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Evripides Stylianidis on Sunday began a four-day official visit to Egypt at the head of a large delegation of Greek entrepreneurs and business executives, during which the two countries are slated to sign a customs cooperation agreement and six memoranda of cooperation, while the minister will also hold talks with senior government officials.

    Stylianidis, who arrived in Cairo on Saturday afternoon, will on Monday attend the 6th session of the Greece-Egypt joint ministerial committee (JMC), which will climax with the signing of a JMC Protocol.

    The delegation will also take part in business conferences in Cairo and Alexandria.

    A customs cooperation agreement and six other cooperation memoranda will also be signed on Monday.

    On Monday afternoon, the delegation will leave for Alexandria, where on Tuesday Stylianidis will address the Egyptian business community of Alexandria at an event at the city's Greek commercial chamber.

    Stylianidis is further scheduled to meet with Patriarch Theodoros II of Alexandria and All Africa and visit the local Greek community.

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