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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-10-09

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM Papandreou holds talks with Turkish counterpart

  • [01] PM Papandreou holds talks with Turkish counterpart

    Prime Minister George Papandreou and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed all issues concerning Greek-Turkish relations during their meeting in Istanbul on Friday afternoon.

    The meeting lasted for over an hour and the Greek prime minister's impression, as he informed the reporters of the Greek mission and Greek correspondents in Turkey, was that Erdogan has the political will to help solve problems but, as he stressed, he must turn this into acts.

    The premier, who also holds the foreign ministry portfolio, addressed earlier in the day the South-East Europe Cooperation Process (SEECP) informal foreign ministers‚ meeting.

    Papandreou outlined for his Turkish counterpart the message he sent to the Turkish people in a statement earlier in the day, a message that he termed "simple and understandable" and pointed out to Erdogan that "we have proved that we want good relations with Turkey and we support its European course."

    However, he added, "Turkey must also take the steps that Europe requires so that its accession course can move forward."

    The Greek prime minister said that all this will also be evaluated at the EU Summit, and replying to a question on whether there is the possibility of Greece exercising a veto at the European Union summit in December, he noted that all the tools will be on the table.

    In any case, as Papandreeou stressed, it is an important date and the evaluation that will be taking place there will be serious.

    Papandreou made special reference to the issue of Cyprus, pointing out to Erdogan that he supports the efforts of Cyprus President Demetris Christofias for a new agreement to be reached on the Cyprus issue in the framework of UN resolutions and the acquis communautaire.

    He called on his Turkish counterpart to also support Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat "to contribute in turn to the finding of such a solution."

    Also raised during the discussion, were the issues of Turkish infringements and violations in the Aegean, and Papandreou mentioned that he noticed there as well some intention of a change in stance on the part of Turkey and pointed out, in parallel, that Greece "lost two considerable opportunities in 2004 and 2005 to promote a solution to issues preoccupying the two countries."

    Replying to a question, Papandreou observed that the European Commission's informative note on December's Summit is not positive for Greece and that he had a telephone conversation on this issue with Commission President Barroso.

    Papandreou revealed Greece's position on the points included in the Commission's text, while he intends to meet the Commission's President soon.

    The Greek prime minister was also questioned on a report in the Turkish press according to which he intends to propose a peace pact to Turkey and replied that "it is still early."

    Papandreou was asked whether his proposal on the accession of the Western Balkans to the European Union in 2014 is also a milestone for the accession of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Kosovo.

    Papandreou pointed out that for Kosovo the solution must be found with a consensus between the two sides and that the prospect of the accession of the Western Balkans can help solve such problems. The same applies to FYROM, he added.

    Referring to his trip to Turkey in general, Papandreou said that he wished to give a sample of the foreign policy that Greece will follow from now on, with initiatives and the country's presence that will give the feeling that there is a diplomacy with aims, a vision and practical results.

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