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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-12-09

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greece needs no lessons in democratic sensitivity

  • [01] Greece needs no lessons in democratic sensitivity

    Greece does not accept lessons in democratic sensitivity from anyone, foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis said in an interview appearing in the Sunday editiion of Eleftheros Typos newspaper, responding to a question on statements by Turkish foreign minister Ali Babacan during a private visit to Thrace last week following an official visit to Athens.

    To a question on the fact that Thrace is the only region in Europe where the Moslem law of sharia is applied, Bakoyannis said that "this is an issue that strongly concerns us", adding that it was an object of dialogue and that "no decision can be made in absentia of the citizens".

    Asked whether the Babacan visit influenced prime minister Costas Karamanlis' outstanding visit to Turkey, Bakoyannis replied that "the trip will take place" while, to another question on whether Karamanlis' visit would also have a 'private leg', she replied that the programme of the visit has not yet been drafted.

    On Greek-Turkish relations in general, Bakoyannis said that there is the expressed will on Greece's part for improvement of those relations, adding that "we are expecting the other side to respond correspondingly".

    Regarding Turkey's long-standing casus belli threat, the foreign minister said it was incomprehensible that there should be a threat of war against Greece, and EU member state, by a candidate for EU membership.

    Regarding the FYROM name issue, she said a solution of the matter would not lead to "losers and winners", but said that she ascertained, however, from the public statements by FYROM officials, that Skopje was stuck in intransigent positions, adding that the other side "to now, has not shown any disposition for change".

    She further rejected the Skopje claims of a 'Macedonian minority'. If one existed, she continued, "it would have appeared and would have been recorded", and warned that "minorities cannot be manufactured".

    Asked whether Greece would recognise an independent Kosovo if Kosovo declared independence, Bakoyannis replied that it was important that there be international legitimisation of whatever decisions are taken, and opined that a "positive prospect does not appear" on the horizon. She further advocated the continued presence of the Greek contingent in the peacekeeping force in Kosovo.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis


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