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MPA NEWS IN BRIEF (07/05/1996)

From: Macedonian Press Agency <mpa@philippos.mpa.gr>

Macedonian Press Agency Brief News in English Directory

BRIEF GREEK NEWS BULLETIN BY MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY

Thessaloniki May 7, 1996


TITLES

  • [01] PRESIDENT STEPHANOPOULOS TO ARRIVE TODAY IN THE UNITED STATES

  • [02] PREMIER ADDRESSES PARLIAMENT, DEFENDS FOREIGN POLICY

  • [03] OPPOSITION PARTIES COUNTER THE PREMIER IN PARLIAMENTARY DEBATE

  • [04] AUSTRALIA'S MPS TO BE BRIEFED ON CYPRIOT ISSUE


  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [01] PRESIDENT STEPHANOPOULOS TO ARRIVE TODAY IN THE UNITED STATES

    Athens, May 7 (M.P.A.) Greek President Kostis Stephanopoulos flew this morning for Washington, embarking on his nine-day official visit to the United States, where he will meet with US President Bill Clinton at the White House on Thursday.

    The Greek President's visit is of special significance since it marks the first time a Greek elected head of state officially travels to the US, since more than fifty years ago. The President's itinerary includes stopovers in Washington, Atlanta, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Chicago, all of which are cities with a pronounced Greek population.

    Mr. Stephanopoulos departed Athens this morning at 9:50am and will arrive at the Andrews Air Force Base in Washington D.C. at 6pm. He is accompanied by Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos and Education Minister George Papandreou, while alternate Foreign Minister George Romeos will be in Washington on May 9.

    President Stephanopoulos and President Clinton are expected to touch upon all the issues that concern the two countries and are of mutual interest. Following their meeting, the two leaders will give a joint press conference.

    While in Washington, Mr. Stephanopoulos will also meet with Vice-President Al Gore and Secretary of State Warren Christopher.

    In the US, Mr. Stephanopoulos will give a series of speeches at various universities, grant TV and print media interviews, as well as hold discussions with the Greek-American community. The President will also meet with the Archbishop of North and South America Iakovos.

    Tomorrow, Mr. Stephanopoulos will begin his contacts in Washington, starting with a breakfast meal shared with the "Washington Post" publisher Kathy Graham along with the paper's senior diplomatic editors and "New York Times" editors. He will also give a talk on "Greece's Role in the Balkans", during a dinner hosted jointly by the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, the Flercher School of Law and Diplomacy and the Konstantinos Karamanlis Foundation.

    Mr. Stephanopoulos will also meet with leaders of the Greek-American community in Congress at the famous Blair House, where he will be staying.

    In Atlanta, the city-host of the Summer Olympic Games, the President will be welcomed by the leader of the Administration of External Affairs of the Olumpic Games Committee Charles Battje, officials and outstanding members of the Greek-American community.

    The Greek President's visit to the US is taking place shortly after the Greek Premier Kostas Simitis' working visit to the US, as well as Turk President Suleiman Demirel's, while expected to visit the White House soon is Turk Premier Mesut Yilmaz.

    [02] PREMIER ADDRESSES PARLIAMENT, DEFENDS FOREIGN POLICY

    Athens, May 7 (M.P.A.) Prime Minister Kostas Simitis addressed Parliament last night and analyzed the government's handling of national issues, focusing on the Greek-Turkish relations.

    During the debate on foreign policy, the Premier defended the strategy he employed during the Imia islets crisis and stated that the socialist government averted a crisis from erupting in the Aegean Sea.

    Referring to Turk Premier Mesut Yilmaz's suggestion for dialogue, the Prime Minister stated that "Athens will not enter a 'dead-end' dialogue with Ankara," and called on Turkey to stop disputing Greece's territorial sovereignty.

    Moreover, the Premier reiterated that Greece will not enter into such talks "because such negotiations would result in new claims and would create new deadlocks."

    Mr. Simitis also told the National Assembly that Greece will not lift its objections on Turkey's financing through European Union funds "before Ankara takes positive steps and stops disputing our territory."

    Referring to the recently-held meeting of foreign ministers in Bucharest, the Premier admitted that Turkey has shown some positive signs that allude to that direction.

    "It made a step by renouncing the use of force in our relations, but did not complete this step because it raised more issues like the grey areas in the Aegean," Mr. Simitis stated.

    "Turkey must take a clear position and prove that it wants good relations and that the latest crisis is over," Mr. Simitis said.

    Referring to his recent meeting with United States President President Bill Clinton, and various European leaders, the Premier noted that the government is now reaping the rewards of its labors as everyone knows that international law must be the road to follow if the Greek-Turkish differences are to be resolved.

    [03] OPPOSITION PARTIES COUNTER THE PREMIER IN PARLIAMENTARY DEBATE

    Athens, May 7 (M.P.A.) Main opposition New Democracy party leader Miltiades Evert criticised the government's policy regarding Greek-Turkish relations and maintained that the time is not right for Athens to hold talks with Ankara.

    Mr. Evert pointed to Turkey's minority government and stated that the Greek government did not have the required political validity.

    The New Democracy leader also made mention of a turkish memorandum to the European Union which reportedly sets as a condition that Greece's territorial waters will not be extended to 12 miles.

    Political Spring party leader Antonis Samaras told the country's parliamentarians that the government's contacts with United States President Bill Clinton constitute a cooperation without concrete aims and outcomes.

    Moreover, Mr. Samaras was critical of the government's invitation to Turkey to take the Imia islets dispute to the International Court of Justice at The Hague, and challenged the Premier to declare that any decision of The Hague regarding Imia, would not concern any other part of the Aegean.

    The Political Spring leader claimed that Washington was preparing a plan that would place under one roof all of the differences between Greece and Turkey, such as Cyprus, Thrace and the Aegean Sea, thereby addressing all the Greek-Turkish issues as a single one.

    Addressing the country's deputies, the Greek Communist Party (KKE) Secretary Aleka Paparega attributed the Greek-Turkish dispute over the Imia islets, which almost led the two countries to war, to Amercian efforts to partition the Aegean Sea in order to take advantage of its rich resources.

    [04] AUSTRALIA'S MPS TO BE BRIEFED ON CYPRIOT ISSUE

    Melbourne, May 7 (M.P.A.) Australia's state representatives will be briefed on all the aspects of the cypriot issue by the members the Coordinating Committee of the Cypriot Struggle in an upcoming meeting.

    The Australian MPs will be asked to convey to their government a request that it take a more active approach to exerting pressure on Ankara and Turk-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, in order to arrive at a solution to the 21-year old unresolved problem.

    This was one of the decisions taken during last evening's Greek-Australians conference held in Melbourne, in preparation of a series of July-held events that will commemmorate this year's anniversary of Cyprus' invasion by the Turkish armed forces.

    The events will feature various speakers, student reports on Cyprus, a rally outside Melbourne's Turkish consulate and a concert by Cypriot singer and composer Marios Tokas.


    Complete archives of the Macedonian Press Agency bulletins are available on the MPA Home Page at http://www.mpa.gr/ and on the U.S. mirror at http://www.hri.org/MPA/

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