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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-05-16

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Queen of Spain on Rhodes
  • [02] Israeli reax to pro-Palestinian text

  • [01] Queen of Spain on Rhodes

    Queen of Sofia of Spain, accompanied by Spanish ambassador to Greece Juan Ramon Martinez Salazar, arrived on the popular Dodecanese island of Rhodes on Friday, where she was greeted by local and prefectural officials, as well as the consul of Spain on Rhodes, Christina Kaili.

    The Queen of Spain left immediately for the archaeological site of Lindos where Culture Minister Michalis Liapis received her for a guided tour of the site's well-known acropolis and other monuments.

    In the afternoon Sofia will visit the medieval town of Rhodes, the archaeological museum and the Knights of St. John's Palace. In the evening the Queen and the Greek culture minister will inaugurate Spanish language and cultural centre in the old quarter of the island's capital.

    Liapis will subsequently host a dinner in the Spanish Queen's honour.

    Sofia will depart Saturday morning for Athens.

    Caption: Queen Sofia of Spain and Greek Culture Minister Michalis Liapis at the Kastello site on the Dodecanese island of Rhodes on Friday, May 16 2008. ANA-MPA / STR

    [02] Israeli reax to pro-Palestinian text

    The Israeli embassy in Greece on Friday submitted a reply to a "statement of support" for the Palestinians, released the previous day and published by several newspapers in Greece, a statement which condemned celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the state of Israel.

    In its reply, the Israeli embassy expresses regret that the "Palestinian community's proclamation" is signed by dozens of Greek personalities, while denouncing the statement as a "one-sided manifesto that blames Israel for all the problems in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, overlooking the grave responsibilities of the Arab side".

    Among others, it listed the Palestinian side's standing refusal to recognise the state of Israel, noting that Israel is a legal member-state of the United Nations.

    "It is sad that you assume that Israel is not interested in peace when, in reality, this goal is one of the corner stones of our Declaration of Independence. There is no family in Israel that has not mourned victims of the conflict with the Arab world. The prevailing political position in Israel is that there is only one solution to the conflict - two states, Israel and an independent Palestinian State, which will co-exist in peace and security. It appears, however, that you adopt the extreme view supporting the return of millions of Palestinian refugees to Israel, something that would be tantamount to its destruction," the announcement said.

    "It is sad that you overlook the great efforts that we have made to achieve peace. The reply to our intention to proceed with great concessions during the negotiations at Camp David in 2000 - as well as our full withdrawal from Gaza and Lebanon - was a wave of terror and a rain of rockets against our citizens. Our children in the city of Sderot are obliged to live in shelters but the manifesto that you have signed does not say a word about these things. In addition, it says nothing about the radical regimes and the extremist organisations, such as Iran and Hamas, which reject the solution of two states and have sworn to destroy Israel."

    "We have no doubt that you are truly interested in peace but for to sign a one-sided manifesto does not contribute in any way to promoting peace. As the great Alsatian Nobel laureate philosopher Albert Schweitzer once said: 'Ethics, too, are but reverence for life'. Therefore, in what concerns human life, morality cannot be selective. Your understandable support for the rights of Palestinians does not mean that you cannot find room in your hearts for Israel," the announcement concludes.

    The Israeli response came to a statement of solidarity with the Palestinian people, signed by 87 people of the arts and letters from Greece and Cyprus, which appeared on Thursday in several major Athens daily newspapers.

    Bearing the title "No reason to celebrate - 'Israel at 60' - 60 years of Palestinian dispossession", the statement was timed to coincide with the 60th anniversary since the state of Israel was founded and accused the Israeli state of violating the human rights of Palestinians.

    Caption: People hold hands as they raise them in front of the Damascus Gate in East Jerusalem during an event called "The Big Hug", dated 21 May 2007. The event drew a wide assortment of people ranging from clergy to hippies, both Palestinians and Israelis. About 300 hundred people took part and joined hands before the Old City walls of Jerusalem in an event including singing of peace songs in Hebrew and Arabic. ANA-MPA/EPA/JIM HOLLANDER

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