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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2002-11-18

Macedonian Press Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at and

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY Thessaloniki, November 18, 2002








  • [01] ERDOGAN IN ATHENS A meeting between Prime Minister Kostas Simitis and Leader of the Turkish Justice and Development Party (AKP) and winner of the Turkish elections, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is underway since 10:30. Turkey is expected ask for Athens' support in the commitment

    of beginning accession negotiation procedures at the Copenhagen Summit. Mr. Erdogan arrived at Eleftherios Venizelos airport in Athenstoday at 09:55.

    At 12:30, Mr. Erdogan will have discussions with the President of New Democracy, Kostas Karamanlis, while at 14:00 he will attend a luncheon held by the Prime Minister and the Mayor of Athens, Mr. Avramopoulos, in his honor. Late in the afternoon, Mr. Er dogan will depart for Turkey.

    Prime Minister Simitis will inform Kostas Karamanlis on the developments concerning the Cyprus issue at 19:00, while there will be upcoming meetings in the next few day, with the Secretary General of the Greek Communist Party, Aleka Papariga, and the Pre sident of the Coalition of the Left, Nikos Konstantopoulos, in an effort to form a national front on the around the issue.

  • [02] PAPANDREOU: CYPRUS SOLUTION TO IMPROVE GREEK-TURKISH RELATIONS His appreciation that if the Cyprus issue is resolved, a path will be found to resolve Greek Turkish relations, and that within a year the issue of the continental shelf in the Aegean will no longer be an issue, was expressed by Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou, in an interview to the "Ta Nea" newspaper.

    Concerning Mr. Erdogan, he noted that he has the will to move to reforms within Turkey and expressed the hope that he shows the same will in resolving the Cyprus issue, stressing that a political solution to the problem would affect the decision of the C openhagen Summit on Turkey's accession negotiations. He called the Leader of the Turkish Cypriots Rauf Denktash to stop stalling, as usual, and take up the historic responsibilities he is facing for the people he represents.

  • [03] "GOLDEN ALEXANDER" SHARED AT THESSALONIKI FILM FESTIVAL A Japanese and a Thai film shared the Award for the Best Full Length Film - Golden Alexander at the 43rd Thessaloniki International Film Festival, during the closing ceremony of the International Competition portion of the Festival. The monetary award of

    36,700 euro will be shared by "Mizu No Onna" (Woman of Water, Japan), by Hidenori Sugimori, and "Sud Sanahea" (Blisfully Yours, Thailand), by Apichatpong Weerasethakul.

    The Special Jury Award - Silver Alexander, accompanied by a prize of 22,000 euro, was given to Ulrich Kohler's "Bungalow", from Germany.

  • [04] PAPANDREOU BRIEFS ARCHBISHOP ON CYPRUS Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou characterized the hour-long meeting he had with Archbishop Christodoulos, in order to brief him on developments on the Cyprus issue, as very useful.

    Mr. Papandreou also added, upon leaving the Archbishop's Mansion, that the support of the Church, is very important in such difficult historic times.

    In the meanwhile, the Standing Holy Synod will hold an emergency meeting on Wednesday, in order to evaluate the latest developments in the Cyprus issue.

  • [05] ERDOGAN-SIMITIS: COOPERATION WILL LEAD TO PEACE AND PROSPERITY The first meeting between Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis and Turkish election winner and Leader of the AKP Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which lasted two hours, took place in an excellent atmosphere at the Maximos Mansion.

    Both Mr. Simitis and Mr. Erdogan affirmed this excellent atmosphere in statements immediately after their meeting. Mr. Simitis characterized it as "especially useful and a very good basis for further cooperation between Greece and Turkey", and he added t hat cooperation is a prerequisite for peace and prosperity for both peoples. Mr. Erdogan noted that "Greece is not our opponent, it is no longer our competitor", he referred to Athens as the birthplace of Democracy, of Plato and Socrates, and expressed hi s joy at being in the Greek capital.

    They both agreed with the need for the two countries to cooperate, and the Greek Prime Minister referred to the agreements that have been ratified by the Greek and Turkish Parliaments.

    Mr. Simitis raised the issues of the Cyprus, Greek-Turkish relations, and Turkey's non-compliance with International Law and International Treaties (i.e. the continental shelf issue), the Euroarmy, and the observing of the Helsinki and Copenhagen terms, as far as Turkey's European prospects are concerned. He called Turkey to respect International Law and characterized the Annan plan as a very good starting point for negotiations, asking the Turkish Cypriot side to contribute with constructive proposals. Regarding the setting of a date for EU-Turkey accession negotiations, he said that the Greek government is in favor in principal, but Turkey has to clear up certain issues and questions remaining in the EU and Greece (concerning human rights and changes o n the political level). He repeated that the issue of Cyprus' accession is irrelevant from resolving the Cyprus issue.

    Mr. Erdogan repeated the issue of commencing accession negotiations and noted that he dreams of the peaceful coexistence of the two countries after Turkey's accession to the EU. As far as the Cyprus issue is concerned, he pointed out that its solution wi ll affect Greek-Turkish relations. He estimated that the issue will not have been resolved by the time of Copenhagen Summit, and that the issue will begin with the vote of confidence for the new Abdullah Gioul government. As far as the continental shelf i s concerned, he underlined that it is being discussed by the two countries' Foreign Ministries.

  • [06] KARAMANLIS-ERDOGAN MEETING The Cyprus issue, the Greek-Turkish relations and Turkey's European course were the issues discussed in the half-hour meeting of right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis with Turkish elections winner Recep Tayyip Erdogan .

    Mr. Karamanlis, in statements he made after the meeting, expressed the ND reservations and concerns on the degree the Annan plan can be operational and harmonized with the European standards. He reiterated that ND supports Turkey's European orientation a nd underlined that the speed of Turkey's European course depends mostly on itself and its adjustment on the European standards, as well as on its constructive stance for a fair and viable solution in Cyprus. He also stated that the normalization of the Gr eek-Turkish relations should take place based on the respect of international law and treaties.

    The ND leader congratulated Mr. Erdogan on his election victory and wished that all his goals will be met for Turkey to turn a new page for itself and its relations with European Union and all its neighbors. He also characterized as positive the fact tha t Mr. Erdogan is visiting Greece and the European capital cities. Mr. Erdogan invited Mr. Karamanlis to visit Ankara.

  • [07] ERDOGAN-AVRAMOPOULOS MEETING Turkish elections winner Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Athens mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos met today in a warm atmosphere. The meeting was requested by Mr Erdogan because of the friendship shared by the two men since he was mayor of Istanbul.

    Mr. Erdogan invited Mr. Avramopoulos to visit Istanbul or Ankara on December 22.

    In statements he made afterwards, Mr. Avramopoulos characterized as useful the talks he had with Mr. Erdogan. Mr. Avramopoulos also pointed out that he discussed with Mr. Erdogan the Greek-Turkish relations and the Cyprus issue.

  • [08] INFLATION IN THE EURO-ZONE WAS AT 2.3% IN OCTOBER Inflation in the Euro-zone in the month of October was at 2.3%, above the 2% limit set by the European Central Bank, compared to 2.1% in September, according to figures provided by the European statistics agency "Eurostat".

    For the record, analysts had predicted that inflation in October would be at 2.2%, while the increase is attributed mainly to the liquid fuel price hikes.

    At a monthly basis, inflation in October increased by 0.3%, while predictions spoke of an increase of 0.2%.

    It should be noted that the highest percentages were recorded in Ireland (4.4%), Portugal (4.1%) and Greece (3.9%), while the lowest in Germany and Belgium (1.3%).

  • [09] LOSSES IN THE ASE Losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.70% at 1.817,67 points, while the volume of transactions was at 89.4 million Euro.

    Of the stocks trading today, 160 recorded gains and 145 had losses, while the value of 69 stocks remained unchanged.

  • [10] PAPANDREOU: THE SIMITIS-ERDOGAN MEETING IS A HISTORIC ONE Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou characterized as a historic one the Simitis-Erdogan meeting and pointed out that the cooperation between Greece and Turkey, that began three years ago with great difficulties (step-by-step approach), has taken up

    a new turn to the better.

    Mr. Papandreou will visit Brussels today and later in the afternoon he will attend the European Union Ministers' Council meeting. He will brief his colleagues on the conclusions reached after the meeting Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis had with the w inner of the Turkish elections Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

  • [11] ERDOGAN DEPARTED FROM ATHENS Prime Minister Kostas Simitis and Turkish elections winner Recep Tayyip Erdogan continued their talks in a formal luncheon which attended the members of the Turkish delegation accompanying Mr. Erdogan and the Greek delegation.

    Mr. Erdogan has already left Athens for Spain.

  • [12] THE EU DEFENSE MINISTERS MEET TOMORROW The issues to be examined in the EU Defense Ministers General Affairs Council tomorrow were discussed in the meeting Greek Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou had in Brussels today with High Representative for the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy ( CFSP) Javier Solana.

    In tomorrow's meeting, held within the framework of the General Affairs Council for the preparation of the Copenhagen Summit meeting, will be discussed European Policy on Security and Defense issues. The meeting will be presided over by Greek Defense Min ister Yiannos Papantoniou.

    The EU Defense Ministers will discuss issues concerning the European military capabilities action plan, the funding of the European military capabilities, the rapid reaction figures, and the crisis management exercise to be held in 2003. Also, they will discuss the operations headquarters, common training, measures against terrorism and the Mediterranean dimension of the European Policy on Security and Defense.

    In the joint meeting of the EU Foreign and Defense Ministers the participants will be briefed on the issues mentioned above, while they will also discuss the developments in the NATO-EU relations.

  • [13] PROTOPAPAS ON THE CYPRUS ISSUE Cyprus' EU accession, the solution of the Cyprus problem and Turkey's EU accession course are the three main issues that should be neither associated with each other nor interdependent, stated Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas.

    On Cyprus' EU accession course, he said that there is the Brussels Summit meeting decision, adding that there can be no EU enlargement if Cyprus is not included in the first wave of the process.

    On the solution of the Cyprus problem, he reiterated that the Annan plan is a good basis for a constructive negotiation and for a good effort aimed at the solution of the problem He reminded Greece's position for a solution that will be operational, viab le and positive for Cyprus.

    On Turkey's EU accession course, he stated that Greece maintains a positive stance, but a number of European countries have problems. The issue, he said, will be discussed in the Copenhagen Summit and will be one of the hardest. However, stated Mr. Proto papas, the course toward the solution of the Cyprus problem and Cyprus' EU membership cannot be affected regardless of the developments on the issue of Turkey's EU accession.

    Asked to comment on the activation of the Church on the Cyprus issue, he said that the government through the Foreign Minister will brief a number of institutions in Greece and pointed out that the issue calls for caution to preserve the climate of unity .

    Mr. Protopapas stated that he shares Mr. Papandreou's views that the solution of the Cyprus problem will bring a spectacular improvement in bilateral relations, while it can clearly lead to the solution of the continental shelf issue.


  • [14] PRESIDENT CLERIDES MEETS WITH DE SOTO TODAY Cypriot President Glafkos Clerides will meet in Nicosia today with UN special adviser to Cyprus Alvaro de Soto.

    British special representative to Cyprus Lord David Hannay will arrive in Cyprus on Wednesday for contacts. The British official will arrive in Cyprus from Athens where he will have consultations with the Greek government.

  • [15] "YES" FROM CYPRUS TO THE NEGOTIATIONS ON THE ANNAN PLAN The majority of the National Council members suggested to Cypriot President Glafkos Clerides today to respond to the UN Secretary General that he accepts the negotiation on his plan for the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    The above were announced by Cypriot government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou, who reiterated that the Greek Cypriot government wants a peaceful solution to the Cyprus problem through negotiations between the two communities on the island under the auspic es of the UN Secretary General.

    Mr. Papapetrou stated that the National Council believes that the timetables set are very limited and therefore, the dates mentioned should not be regarded as binding.

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