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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-10-19

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM Papandreou begins official visit to Cyprus
  • [02] First meeting of ND parliamentary group

  • [01] PM Papandreou begins official visit to Cyprus

    Nicosia (ANA-MPA/G. Milionis) -- Greece's new prime minister George Papandreou on Monday reaffirmed the country's firm backing of the Cyprus government's and people's persistent efforts for a Cyprus solution, at the start of a two-day official visit to the island republic.

    "Greece is once again actively -- not in words but in deeds -- at Cyprus' side. We are at your side, at the side of your persistent and tireless efforts, and from here on we will work closely together, both here and in Europe, to achieve that which the people of Cyprus so desire," said Papandreou on arrival at the Presidential Mansion before entering into talks with Cyprus President Demetris Christofias.

    Christofias, in turn, wished Papandreou good luck in his task, and thanked him for his support. "It is balm to me. The conditions are difficult, but I believe that the abilities exist for Cyprus to be unified and for good relations with Turkey, while I am also certain that our old friendship and cooperation are a guarantee for our cooperation henceforth," he said.

    Prime minister Papandreou, who also holds the foreign ministry portfolio, arrived in Cyprus on Monday morning on his first official visit abroad in his capacity as prime minister, for talks with the Cyprus leadership and the leaders of the parties represented in the unicameral House of Representatives (parliament).

    Papandreou, accompanied by a Greek government delegation, arrived at Larnaca Airport on Monday morning. where he was greeted by Cyprus President Demetris Christofias, who was accompanied by foreign minister Marcos Kyprianou and undersecretary to the president Titos Christophides.

    The Greek premier will have a private meeting with Christofias before the two leaders will be joined by their respective delegations for continuation of the talks.

    Papandreou will sign the Book of Visitors at the Presidential Palace, and statements to the press will be made shortly afterwards.

    Later in the day, the Greek prime minister will visit the Enclaved Tombs (the graves of Greek Cypriots killed during the anti-colonial struggle against the British in the mid-1950s) and the graves of Greek nationals killed during the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

    In the evening, Papandreou will have separate meetings with AKEL party secretary general Andros Kyprianou, Democratic Rally (DISY) party president Nicos Anastasiades, Democratic Party (DIKO) president Marios Garoyian, and Social Democrats Movement (EDEK) party president Yiannakis Omirou.

    The first day of the official visit will end with a state banquet hosted by Christofias in honor of Papandreou and the Greek government delegation.

    On Tuesday, Papandreou will meet separately with European Party president Demetris Syllouris and Movement of Environmentalists leader Ioanna Panayiotou.

    The Greek premier will also hold talks with the Committee of Relatives of Missing Persons chairman Nicos Theodosiou and the Committee of the Turkish-occupied Municipalities chairman Alexis Galanos, after which he will be received by the primate of the Church of Cyprus, Archbishop Chrysostomos II.

    Papandreou will further have another brief discussion with Garoyian, in the latter's capacity as president of the House of Representatives, before addressing a special session of the House.

    The Greek premier is due to leave at noon on Tuesday for his return to Greece.

    The Greek delegation includes alternate foreign minister Dimitris Droutsas, government spokesman George Petalotis, Greece's ambassador to Cyprus Vassilis Papaioannou, ruling PASOK MEP Marilena Koppa, the director of the foreign minister's diplomatic office Dimitris Paraskevopoulos, foreign ministry director general Tryfon Paraskevopoulos, and the director of the alternate foreign minister's diplomatic office Christos Panagopoulos.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Prime Minister George Papandreou (L) and Cyprus President Demetris Christofias(R).

    [02] First meeting of ND parliamentary group

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) outgoing leader and former prime minister Costas Karamanlis described the outcome of the recent general elections as "painful", but added that "we respect the choice of the citizens and commit ourselves to live up to our new responsibilities in exercising opposition", speaking on Monday at the first meeting of the new ND parliamentary group.

    Karamanlis welcomed as "an exceptionally positive development" the agreement reached among the four candidates for the party leadership on the procedure for election of the next leader by the party's rank and file, noting that it will strengthen the new leadership and lend unity and cohesion to the party.

    He stressed that the only choice for everyone "is the course to a high level of mutual respect, and dedication to the values and principles of the party", warning that there was not even the slightest room for personal clashes and antagonism.

    The objective, he continued, is to forge unity rather than the introversion arising from bitterness. The process for the election of the next leader can elevate and compose the wealth of ideas in the party, and stressed the need for "unity, cohesion and solidarity".

    Karamanlis defended his choices during his term as prime minister, and stressed that the frankness with which he described the problems resulting from the global financial crisis and his responsible stance throughout the campaign period comprise an important legacy to the country's political life but also to ND.

    The party has suffered a "temporary, heavy, defeat", but it also has an important legacy of credibility with the positions it maintained for dealing with the crisis, Karamanlis said, adding that ND's positions and proposals will be vindicated, in the long-term, when the new PASOK government is forced to abandon its "pleasing proposals"; and take the required measures.

    "At the end of the day, reality will impose itself, and we will be identified with the reality," the ND leader anticipated.

    Caption: ANA - MPA of main opposition New Democracy leader and former Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis

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