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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-11-29

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] President satisfied with outcome of Oman, UAE visits

  • [01] President satisfied with outcome of Oman, UAE visits

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias expressed satisfaction over the results of his tour of Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) upon his return to Athens on Wednesday.

    "It was an important trip, and we achieved what I had hoped, namely opening the doors of the Arab countries to Greece. Their response was positive," Papoulias told accompanying reporters on the airplane during the return flight to Athens from Dubai, the last stop of the visit.

    Now, however, the ball was in the ministers' courts and over the next months "our efforts must be continuous, because it would be unfortunate if we don't take advantage of the good climate we created during the visit," the President said.

    Referring to the political aspect of his talks in Oman and the UAE, Papoulias said that the officials he spoke with were concerned with what was taking place in the wider region, with the biggest problem being the war on Iraq. He said they had a very sceptical approach to the answer arising from the question of 'what is the US doing in Iraq?'. "Everyone speaks of withdrawal, but one that will not hurt the prestige of the superpower (US)," Papoulias noted.

    The President voiced his personal opinion that Syria and Iran should also be involved in the negotiations on the Iraq crisis, and expressed satisfaction that the Baker Committee and British prime minister Tony Blair have acknowledged the need for such an approach.

    Papoulias further said that the Arab officials he met with had told him that they were closer to the Greeks and Greece, spiritually and emotionally, than with other countries of northern Europe.

    The Greek president also announced that he also planned to visit other Arab countries, such as Jordan, while Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak would visit Athens.

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