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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-04-03

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM addresses Greeks from NATO Summit

  • [01] PM addresses Greeks from NATO Summit

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis addressed a message on Thursday to the Greek people from Bucharest, where he is participating in the NATO summit, stressing that the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) will only become a member of NATO if the issue of its name is solved.

    He underlined that FYROM will not join the Alliance following Greece's veto, pointing out that "I had said in all tones that no solution means no invitation. And this is what I did," adding that this development is in favour of national interests and that when determination and arguments are used appropriately they produce results.

    "Greece waged a tough struggle over the past months. It is exercising its foreign policy with self-confidence, with determination, with prudence. We reiterated our strong arguments during NATO's negotiations. However, we were not isolated as some had feared but, on the contrary, we found supporters. The issue does not end here, we still have a way to go. What is coming to an end is the illusion of those who think that they can participate in the international community without fulfilling their commitments," the prime minister said, adding that "rules should be respected by all."

    "We are in the middle of a difficult path, I am proud of what we have achieved together," Karamanlis said and noted that "our aim is not to humiliate the neighbours but to support them to stand on their feet. We are aiming at a solution that respects the sensitivities of all."

    Karamanlis appealed to the neighbouring country's leadership to participate in the process of finding a mutually acceptable solution in the framework of the UN and stressed that Greece has the strength to defend its interests provided that the Greeks are "reliable abroad and united at home".

    He underlined that "all that has taken place in Bucharest proves that Greece has all the strength to defend its interests. Two are the preconditions for us to achieve our goals: We must be reliable abroad. We must be united at home."

    The prime minister further noted that "we are a society that is entitled to feel self-confidence, the difficulties are many but we can solve both the big and the small problems with a great deal of work" and concluded his message by thanking the Greek people for their confidence.

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