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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 14-11-30

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] FM Venizelos meets with Turkish President Erdogan in Istanbul
  • [02] Pope Francis concludes visit to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Istanbul

  • [01] FM Venizelos meets with Turkish President Erdogan in Istanbul

    ANKARA (ANA-MPA/A. Kourkoulas) - Government Vice-President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos met with Turkish Republic President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul on Saturday in a "very positive climate".

    The issues they discussed included the Cyprus issue, especially "an end to the violation of sovereign rights of the Cyprus Republic and the presence of the Turkish research vessel in Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone," according to statements by Venizelos.

    Earlier on Saturday he had met earlier with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara, ahead of the meeting of the Greek-Turkish Supreme Council of Cooperation scheduled to take place in Athens on December 5 and 6.

    Following the meeting with Erdogan, the Greek FM said, "I think that there are solutions which are entirely in agreement with international law and respect the rights of the Cyprus Republic, its existence, and allow the restart of talks" between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot sides. "This will create a better climate for Greek-Turkish relations and stabilise the wider [geographic] area," he added.

    Venizelos said Erdogan is "a political leader with great experience and staying power" and "understands very well that Greece is the secure and reliable neighbour of Turkey." He added, "Turkey is facing a crisis along its entire borderline, therefore it is very important that there be stability in Greek-Turkish relations, and a field of joint initiatives."

    The Council will provide the opportunity to take significant steps in economic and social issues, but there is a "hard core of issues" and a legal disagreement on delimitating the maritime zones between Greece and Turkey, and issues that have remained open for decades which need resolution.

    In terms of minorities in each country, Venizelos said that Greece "does not place [the issue of protecting minorities] on a reciprocity base: Each country has the constitutional obligation and an obligation based on international law - especially the European Convention on Human Rights or more specific treaties like the Treaty of Lausanne - to respect minorities' rights and human rights in general. This is our position, which we have stated both publicly and privately."

    Before returning to Greece, Venizelos attended a special liturgy in Phanar, Istanbul, on Sunday, on the occasion of Pope Francis' visit by invitation of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

    [FILE photo]

    [02] Pope Francis concludes visit to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Istanbul

    ANA-MPA - Pope Francis wrapped up his visit to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on Sunday by attending a Divine Liturgy at the Patriarchal Church of St. George in Istanbul and signing a joint declaration of the two Churches.

    During the service, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Francis exchanged the kiss of peace, a symbol of reconciliation and love, and the Lord's Prayer was read by Pope Francis in Latin.

    The Pope arrived in Istanbul by invitation of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who officiated at the service on Sunday. Earlier he had paid a visit to Ankara as head of the state of Vatican and met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    On his arrival in the city on Saturday, the head of the Roman Catholic Church visited the St. Sophia Cathedral and the Blue Mosque. He also attended a mass in the Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Spirit with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and later a doxology of peace and thanksgiving, again at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of St. George. The prayer service was followed by a private meeting between the two Church leaders.

    At the end of the service on Sunday morning (November 30), both prelates delivered official addresses, exchanged the kiss of peace and together blessed the faithful. Following the Divine Liturgy, they signed a joint declaration before attending a luncheon the Patriarch is hosting for the Pope at the Patriarchate.

    [Pope Francis (L), Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew (R), Photo: EPA/Tolga Bozoglu]

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