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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-12-04

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Russian DM in Athens on Tuesday
  • [02] Greek FM attends OSCE meeting

  • [01] Russian DM in Athens on Tuesday

    Russian Vice President and Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov will be arriving in Athens on Tuesday on a two-day visit to Greece. Talks he will be having in Athens will focus on the state of security in the Balkans, military, defence and technical cooperation between the two countries and bilateral relations and prospects of widening them in general.

    Ivanov will be meeting Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis at noon on Tuesday and afterwards, accompanied by Defence Minister Evangelos Meimarakis, he will be received by President Karolos Papoulias.

    A meeting with Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos will follow, while in the evening he will be attending an official dinner given in his honour by Meimarakis at the Armed Forces Officers Club.

    On Wednesday, again accompanied by Meimarakis, Ivanov will visit Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and then he will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

    Lastly, he will be visiting the defence ministry for a meeting with its civil and military leadership.

    (Caption: Russian Vice President and Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov)

    [02] Greek FM attends OSCE meeting

    Developments in the Balkans were one of the main issues examined in Brussels on Monday during the ministerial meeting of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis had the opportunity of discussing developments in the region, mainly in relation to Kosovo, with U.S. Under Secretary for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns, whom she briefed on Greece's positions.

    Bakoyannis also had the opportunity of meeting many of her counterparts on the sidelines of the meeting and promoting Greece's candidacy for the OSCE's presidency, probably in 2009.

    Replying to questions by the press on developments regarding the issue of relations between the European Union and Turkey, in the wake of the recent publication of the European Commission's recommendations, the foreign minister said that there is no coincidence of views within the EU on the issue.

    However, she stressed that as far as Greece is concerned the shaping of a single view by the "25" towards Turkey is an issue of particular importance. On the question of Greece's positions, Bakoyannis reiterated that a clear message must be sent to Ankara that its harmonisation with the EU is not an "optional" process and that Turkey's adjustment to the acquis communautaire is not negotiable.

    The foreign minister further said that Greece and the other member-states agree that Turkey's course towards its accession to the EU must stay "on track."

    Bakoyannis went on to say that in Greece's view specific time limits must be set for the reassessment of Turkey's response to the commitments it has undertaken towards Cyprus, through its customs union with the EU.

    Focusing on procedures to achieve a solution to the issue of Cyprus under the auspices of the UN, the foreign minister said that a solution to the problem is certainly feasible, but stressed that linking this issue with the question of Turkey's unilateral commitments towards Cyprus and the EU creates mistaken impressions.

    Lastly, Bakoyannis also discussed the issue of Turkey with her counterparts from Britain, Spain, Luxembourg and Finland.

    (ANA-MPA file photo of Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis)


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