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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-10-22

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Deputy FM Kouvelis visits Azerbaijan (RECASTS)
  • [02] Alternate FM details positions

  • [01] Deputy FM Kouvelis visits Azerbaijan (RECASTS)

    BAKU (ANA-MPA/N. Melissova) - Azeri Energy and Industry Minister Natiq Aliyev confirmed Azerbaijanās clear political will to cooperate with Greece in the energy sector for the implementation of the ITGI natgas pipeline, as well as for the use of Greek know-how in renewable energy sources, during his meeting here on Thursday with Foreign Deputy FM Spyros Kouvelis.

    On the question of the ITGI pipeline, the Greek deputy foreign minister said after the meeting that "we underlined the need for its implementation and there is political will for it to go ahead. The issue between Azerbaijan and Turkey is pending on the transit of gas and we committed that we shall do all that we can to resolve it. There is the commitment at political level for us to proceed with this cooperation."

    He that in early 2010 a joint inter-ministerial committee will convene in Baku to probe sectors of bilateral cooperation.

    The strong and mutual political will for enlarged cooperation in new sectors with emphasis on tourism, culture and education was also confirmed in the meeting Kouvelis had with Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov.

    [02] Alternate FM details positions

    Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas on Thursday outlined several key-points in the new government's foreign policy, touching on timely issues expected to dominate Athens' attention in the coming period, including EU-Turkey and Greek-Turkish relations.

    Regarding the former, he emphasised that "Turkey will be assessed in December strictly and objectively" at the upcoming December EU summit.

    Responding to a press question on whether there should be sanctions in case Turkey does not implement the Ankara Protocol, he responded that everything is possible. "Everything is on the table. We have said in the past that Greece's stance and position at the European Council meeting in December should not be and cannot be regarded as a given by anyone," he stressed.

    Asked about the worrying influx of illegal migrants entering Greece from EU hopeful Turkey, Droutsas stated that the issue constitutes an immediate concern for the Union itself and stressed that the foreign ministry will continue to work systematically within the framework of the EU without ruling out moves that can be made on a bilateral level.

    Droutsas reminded that the signing of the 2001 bilateral agreement with Turkey on the specific issue was the result of the policy followed in the period 1999-2004, when George Papandreou, the prime minister and foreign minister today, was then foreign minister as well.

    In terms of the closely watched climate change issue in view of the Copenhagen Summit, Droutsas referred to the pledge made by PM Papandreou that Greece's preparation and participation will be notable in coordination with the ministry of environment, energy and climate change.

    Referring to the leading role Greece can play in the SE Europe region, he pointed out that a "precondition for the opening of EU accession negotiations with fYRoM is a settlement of the name issue," and added that Athens has an "an open mind" and will examine all possible ways to make progress with Skopje, based on "the national red line that has been made clear."

    "The name should include a geographic qualifier for all uses," he underlined, echoing standing Greek policy and reminding that the issue of the opening of accession negotiations falls under the exclusive jurisdiction of all 27 EU member-states.

    Moreover, he referred to "extreme rhetoric" often expressed by fYRoM leadership up until now and expressed a hope that this tactic will be abandoned in order to achieve progress.

    Responding to a question on the likelihood of no agreement on the "name issue", Droutsas underlined that Greece's OSCE chairmanship entails obligations and at the same time options.

    Touching on Cyprus, he stated that it is always a priority, which became obvious by the fact that the first visit of the prime minister, a few hours after winning the Greek Parliament's vote of confidence, was to Nicosia. He said the Greek side was briefed on all developments by Cypriot President Demetris Christofias and all political party representatives and underlined that cooperation was close and effective on all levels.

    He said that the areas of this cooperation could include joint actions for the Mediterranean region which is expected to be immediately affected by the consequences of the climate change.

    Droutsas also underlined that there is no issue of flights from Greece to the occupied territories.

    Finally, he made a special reference to Economic Diplomacy in which a key-role is played by the International Development Cooperation Department - Hellenic Aid, underlining that the government wishes that this should not be simply just another term but focus on a plan and programme through the use of a new tool, referring to "green diplomacy".

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