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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-09-25

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Bakoyannis-Rice meeting

  • [01] Bakoyannis-Rice meeting

    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis held 40-minute talks with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice in New York on Thursday saying afterwards that "I had a friendly and substantive discussion with the U.S. Secretary of State, Mrs. Rice. A discussion that covered all the issues of special Greek interest, and also broader issues."

    The issues raised by the Greek side were: the issue of the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), the issue of Cyprus, Greek-Turkish relations, as well as regional issues, such as the problem in Georgia and the situation in the Caucasus in general, while relations between the European Union and Russia and the Middle East question were also discussed.

    Bakoyannis said that they discussed "the course of negotiations on the FYROM issue, Greek-Turkish relations, and also issues concerning the Middle East and the crisis in Georgia."

    The foreign minister added that "I had the opportunity of explaining analytically to the U.S. minister the issue of Cyprus, on which negotiations have begun - as you are aware, (Cyprus) President (Demetris) Christofias took a specific initiative - and the great importance placed by Greece on the success of the negotiations and on support for the Greek Cypriot leader."

    Asked how the Americans and Rice in particular view talks on the Cyprus issue and President Christofias's urging for influence to be exerted on Ankara for a new climate in the talks, Bakoyannis said "my feeling is that the United States are very interested in a successful conclusion to these negotiations and I believe that they will move in this direction. But, it is not up to me to speak on behalf of the United States. My job is to explain Greek positions in the best possible way and this happened in every detail."

    Also asked whether there is something new on the part of the U.S. on the FYROM issue, she said that "there is encouragement, the known encouragement to all sides for the negotiating process under Mr. (UN mediator Matthew) Nimetz to go ahead, which she (Rice) stated clearly that she supports."

    Welcoming her Greek counterpart at the American diplomatic delegation's meeting place at the Waldorf Astoria hotel ahead of talks, Secretary of State Rice expressed hope that a mutually acceptable solution will be found to the issue of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), a development which will allow the accession of this country to NATO, that the United States support.

    Replying to a relevant question, Rice said "we want to see the issue resolved as soon as possible. We shall discuss it. What is most important is that it is resolved. We are trying to help the finding of a solution, that can be acceptable by both sides."

    The Bakoyannis-Rice meeting was attended on the part of the U.S. by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Daniel Freed, under whose jurisdiction the issue of FYROM falls, and other aides of Rice, while participating on behalf of Greece are Ambassadors Mallias, Halastanis and Vassilopoulos and Foreign Ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos.


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