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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-06-29

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Bakoyannis stresses benefits of closer EU-Turkey ties

  • [01] Bakoyannis stresses benefits of closer EU-Turkey ties

    MOSCOW (ANA-MPA - D. Konstantakopoulos) Turkey must be allowed to become a full member of the European Union if it carries out the necessary reforms and fulfils all the accession criteria because EU-Turkey rapprochement is one of the paths achieving peace and stability in the region, Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis said in an interview published by the Russian newspaper "Isvestia" on Thursday.

    Asked to outline her proposals for a solution to the Cyprus problem, Bakoyannis said that efforts "should take into account the work done at the United Nations and the positions of the Cyprus Republic itself, in its capacity as an EU member-state," noting that both the inhabitants of the island republic and the region as a whole should benefit as a result.

    "With regard to this, we greatly appreciate Russia's position on the Cyprus issue," she added.

    Referring to relations between Greece and Russia, meanwhile, the Greek foreign minister said that the two countries were "strategic partners" with similar views on the majority of world problems, had achieved significant progress in cementing economic ties and were capable of even greater improvements in this direction. She expressed a desire to see more Russian tourists coming to Greece and stressed that Athens was doing everything possible to show the high value it placed on Greek-Russian relations.

    During her visit to Moscow on Thursday, Bakoyannis met Russia's National Security Council secretary Igor Ivanov and the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexiy II. Later on Thursday, she is due to meet her Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.

    After her meeting with the Patriarch, Bakoyannis underlined the strong bonds of the Orthodox faith, its unity and its very important and increasing presence worldwide.

    Alexiy emphasised the close ties between Greece and Russia and also expressed support for the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Fanar, Istanbul and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I in response to questions about the attacks on the Patriarchate, noting his opposition to "such extreme actions".

    Bakoyannis arrived in the Russian capital on Tuesday and participated in the ministerial conference on "Routes of drug transportation from Afghanistan" held here on Wednesday by the Russian foreign ministry in cooperation with the United Nations. The foreign minister's agenda of meetings include contacts with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Nicholas Burns and Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzkov, as well as a brief discussion on the sidelines of the conference with Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul.

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