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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-12-09

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Turkey is obliged to withdraw its occupation troops from Cyprus, PASOK leader says
  • [02] New president of SAE
  • [03] Greek FM refers to Turkey's obligations to EU
  • [04] Greek interior minister in Cyprus

  • [01] Turkey is obliged to withdraw its occupation troops from Cyprus, PASOK leader says

    Main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) leader George Papandreou addressed the 6th World Convention of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) in Thessaloniki, Macedonia, on Saturday and referred to Turkey and the Cyprus issue. "Turkey is obliged to withdraw the occupation troops from the Republic of Cyprus," said Papandreou from the podium of the SAE Convention. Speaking on the second day of the Convention, Papandreou called on the international community and the European Union to undertake an initiative for the immediate withdrawal of the Turkish troops from Cyprus. "Turkey is obliged to withdraw the occupation troops from Cyprus. Occupation troops have no place in the common European family. We must not forget that the Cyprus issue in reality is an issue of occupation by Turkish troops," he said.

    "Occupation of territory of an independent state, member of the European Union and of the United Nations, of the Republic of Cyprus. This is a clear message to Turkey. I call on the international community and the EU to undertake the political, moral and responsible initiative for the immediate withdrawal of the Turkish troops from Cyprus," the PASOK leader added.

    Regarding Turkey's European prospects, Papandreou noted that "Ankara is obliged to respect its obligations without diversions," and argued:"Instead of tolerating negotiations, and I would say bargaining, on whether one port or another will open or whether one or another airport will open, that is, instead of us negotiating the self-evident, Turkey's obligations to recognise the Republic of Cyprus and ratify the Protocol with regard trade and the ports, we should turn our attention to the essence of the cause, at last of the Cyprus issue, which is the illegal occupation."

    The PASOK leader criticised the New Democracy (ND) party, saying:"It lost substantial opportunities in 2004 and 2005 to formulate a policy and to achieve important results towards Turkey. Now we are talking about a bazaar which does not lead to substantial results."

    The Convention took place with the participation of 450 expatriate Greeks from different parts of the world. Among the foreign officials attending the conference were former foreign minister of Cyprus George Iacovou, Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem and the newly elected Archbishop of Cyprus Chrysostomos .

    (ANA-MPA photo of PASOK leader George Papandreou addressing the 6th World Convention of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) in Thessaloniki, Macedonia, on Saturday.

    [02] New president of SAE

    Stefanos Tamvakis, from Alexandria, was elected as the new president of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE), during the sessions of its 6th World Convention, in Thessaloniki, Macedonia, on Saturday. Tamvakis in the second round of the elections for a new SAE president, garnered 238 votes (55.74 per cent), against 189 votes (44.26 per cent) for Christos Tomaras, from Chicago. Olga Sarantopoulou, from Vienna, was elected Secretary and Costas Dimitriou, from Cologne, Treasurer.

    Philip Christopher, from New York, was elected representative of the Cypriot overseas organisations POMAK and PSEKA.

    (ANA-MPA photo of SAE president Stefanos Tamvakis on Saturday)

    [03] Greek FM refers to Turkey's obligations to EU

    Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis met on Saturday with main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) deputy and coordinator for foreign and defence policy issues Theodoros Pangalos and both agreed that the main target should be for the European Union to have a unified position which would give a clear message to Turkey for it to abide by its obligations so that its European orbit to remain stable.

    After their meeting at the foreign ministry, Bakoyannis stated that she briefed Pangalos on the ministry's moves "these past 15 days and on the difficult session which we have ahead of us at the General Affairs Council on Monday."

    As the foreign minister said, the central Greek and Cypriot target is for there to be a unified European Union position towards Turkey.

    "From the moment when the EU has ascertained that Turkey does not maintain the obligation to implement the Ankara Protocol, our position is that there should be a unified position with a clear message, for Turkey to maintain its obligations so that its European orbit to remain stable," Bakoyannis said.

    All the Greek political parties are directed towards the same position, she added, and giving emphasis in the striving of a climate of consensus, noted that "the target of Greek foreign policy is to express the whole of the parties and the whole of the Greeks. This is what we shall try to do."

    The climate of consensus was confirmed by Pangalos, who, upon departure from the ministry, said in a separate statement that "all the political forces of Greece agree that Turkey's course towards European unification must be safeguarded, but at the same time Turkey must completely fulfill its obligations towards Europe and all the member-states, therefore Cyprus as well." He added:":This is the clear position which arises from the facts. There can be no differences between us and all should orientate towards there. That is the solution."

    Referring to the latest Turkish proposal to allow Cypriot commercial vessels and passenger planes to travel to one Turkish port and to one Turkish airport, Pangalos said:"The proposals which Turkey has submitted are not serious and express the domestic confusion existing in Turkey. The framework is clear, all the peoples of Europe and us and the Cypriots have an interest to see it (Turkey) to step ahead towards European unification and adapt to the European acquis communautaire, but this means that it must implement all the agreements which it has signed and this concerns the European Union in its entirety and of course concerns the member-states and Cyprus."

    To reporters' questions on the position of the United States in favour of Turkey in the European Union, Bakoyannis replied:"The American position is known, but it is Europe which decides on the procedures and the time-frames and on the degree of the implementation of its decisions. Turkey wants to enter Europe, the acquis communautaire seeks it, this is what it is also obliged to implement."

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

    [04] Greek interior minister in Cyprus

    Greece's Interior, Public Administration and Decentralisation Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos stated in Nicosia on Saturday that "the consolidation of substantial equality between women and men and the promotion of equal opportunities for their participation in the social, economic and political life of the country constitutes the fundamental principle of democracy." He was the main speaker at an event on the theme "Equality between Men and Women in Local Government".

    The event was organised in Nicosia by the Cypriot foreign ministry's National Apparatus for the Rights of Women.

    Pavlopoulos began a two-day visit to Cyprus on Friday.

    In his speech, the Greek interior minister noted that despite the greatly significant gains achieved by women, the implementation of the equality of opportunities continues to be called for, particulary on a level of employment and pay.

    "And this because the equivalent participation of women in society, the economy and politics constitutes an inalienable right and an element of the state of law, but also a lever for social cohesion, growth and healthy competition," he said.

    He added that despite the progress made to date, "there is still a lack of women's participation in local government."

    (ANA-MPA file photo of Greece's Interior, Public Administration and Decentralisation Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos)


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