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Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English, 97-06-20
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
BRIEF GREEK NEWS BULLETIN BY MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY
Thessaloniki, June 20, 1997
 US PENTAGON RETRACTS PREVIOUS STATEMENT ON SOVEREIGNTY OF IMIA ISLETS
Washington, June 20 (MPA)Within a matter of few hours, the United States Pentagon's spokesperson Kevin Bacon has issued two different statements regarding the sovereignty of the Imia islets.
In the first statement issued during a press conference, Mr. Bacon clearly said that the Imia islets fall under Greek sovereignty by stating specifically "there is a new map that was printed towards the end of 1996, which clearly establishes the islands as having Greek sovereignty, as they always have. And this map is a nautical one and is available to the public."
A few hours later, Mr. Bacon proceeded to issue another statement where he clarified that he had made a "mistake." His second statement is as follows:
"During the briefing session today, I mistakenly stated that the Aegean island Imia is under Greek sovereignty. In reality, the sovereignty of this island is subject to a dispute between Greece and Turkey."
Moreover, Mr. Bacon stated that it is the US' firm policy not to take sides on matters regarding sovereignty or on differences concerning the borders between countries. A.F.
 GREECE ISSUES STRONG RESPONSE TO US PENTAGON'S RETRACTION OVER IMIA
Athens, June 20 (MPA)The Greek government has reacted strongly to the Clinton Administration's retraction in regards to the status quo of the Imia islets.
US Pentagon's spokesperson Kevin Bacon has retracted his previous statement that the Imia islets were and are Greek soil, after being subjected to pressures from Ankara.
Equally strong was Greece's response to the provocative statements made by Tansu Ciller. A.F.
 MOUNT ATHOS RELICS ARRIVE IN THESALONIKI, EVENT CELEBRATED GRANDLY
Thessaloniki, June 20 (MPA)The holy relics of Mount Athos, to be exhibited for the first time in the Holy Mountain's one-thousand-year-old history, have arrived in Thessaloniki where they will be displayed at the city's Byzantine Museum.
A welcoming ceremony was held this afternoon by the Organisation of "Thessaloniki, Cultural Capital of Europe '97" at the church of Aghia Sophia where the Minister of Culture Evangelos Venizelos welcomed the Mount Athos Holy Community, whose members he characterized as the guardians of history and the Orthodox tradition.
The Mayor of Thessaloniki, and president of the Organisation, Konstantinos Kosmopoulos, welcomed the representatives of the Holy Community and thanked them for their contribution to Thessaloniki.
The monumental Exhibition, hailed by foreign journalists as "the Exhibition of the century" will be inaugurated tomorrow by the President of the Hellenic Repubic Kostis Stephanopoulos in a ceremony that is to be attended by the members of the Ministerial Council and possibly by the Prime Minister Kostas Simitis. A.F.
 MARLON BRANDO, THE LEGEND, IS CURRENTLY IN ATHENS
Athens, June 20 (MPA)Marlon Brando, the famous American actor, is currently in Athens, on the invitation of a Greek shipowner.
The 73-year-old actor will give a lecture on the environment, one of his most loved topics of discussion, in an event to be opened by the Minister of Culture Evangelos Venizelos and Environment, City Planning and Public Works Kostas Laliotis.
Marlon Brando has enchanted at least four generations of moviegoers in Greece, as well as throughout the world.
During his stay in Greece, he will embark on a cruise through the Aegean Sea's islands and has also expressed the wish to visit the Acropolis. Mr. Brando is accompanied by his wife and one of his 11 children. A.F.
 PRESIDENT OF PHILIPPINES ON OFFICIAL VISIT TO GREECE ON SUNDAY
Athens, June 20 (MPA)The President of the Philippines Fidel Ramos is to arrive in Athens on Sunday, embarking on a three-day official visit at the invitation of his Greek counterpart Kostis Stephanopoulos.
Following a meeting between Messrs. Ramos and Stephanopoulos, the Philippine President wil be received by the Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis on Monday morning. A.F.
 UNFICYP'S STAY EXTENSION TABLED ON MONDAY TO UN SECURITY COUNCIL
Washington, June 20 (MPA)The Cyprus issue and the extension of the peacekeeping force UNFICYP's stay in the island will be among the agendaed items for discussion during the United Nations Security Council's meeting on Monday.
On that same day, the UN Secretary-General's report on the Cyprus issue will be published.
Meanwhile, the head of the Security Council, Russian Ambassador Sergei Lavrov met with the UN Secretary-General's special adviser Diego Kordobez, who is to chair next month's direct talks between Cypriot President Glafkos Clerides and Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.
Following his meeting with Mr. Kordobez, Mr. Lavrov stated that "Mr. Kordobez has expressed his hope that the participants in this effort can count on the continuous support of the Security Council." A.F.
 SULEIMAN DEMIREL TO GIVE MANDATE FOR NEW GOVERNMENT TODAY
Ankara, June 20 (MPA)Turkish President Suleiman Demirel is expected to issue a mandate for the formation of a new government, following yesterday's resignation of Necmettin Erbakan.
According to political observers, the mandate is likely to be given to Tansu Ciller since she has the support of the Welfare Party as well as the ultra-right party Great Unity.
Yesterday, Mr. Demirel held successive meetings with the leaders of the Motherland Party Mesut Yilmaz, the Democratic Left Bulent Ecevit, the Republican People's Party Denise Baykal and the Democratic Turkey Party Husamettin Cindoruk. All four leaders have stated that a coalition government between the True Party and the Welfare Party should not be formed. A.F.
 CRETE, ALSACE UNITED THROUGH CULTURE AND TOURISM
Strasbourg, June 20 (MPA)An association called "Alsace-Crete", formed in the fall of 1996, promotes the development of tourism-related activity and cultural exhange between the island of Crete and France's Alsace.
The leaders of the France-based association promote the island of Crete to the French as an ideal tourism spot, and they stress that the residents of the two regions have a great deal in common, since they are both proud peoples who maintain strong ties with their past.
The 80-member association also included a number of wine connoisseurs who have discovered the exquisite vineyards of Crete. A.F.
 BORIS YELTSIN TO REQUEST RUSSIA'S INCLUSION AS FULL MEMBER OF G-7
Moscow, June 20 (MPA)Russian President Boris Yeltsin is to request his country's full accession to the group of the seven most-industrially developed countries, known as "G-7", during the imminent Denver Summit.
Mr. Yeltsin statred that this would be a historical decision and it would be a triumph for him personally if his coutnry should gain full-member status.
Washington is said to promote Russia's full membership in the G-7, believing that this would strengthen Russian's economic and political reforms. However, the remaining members are not completely convinced as such, while Japan is linearly against such accession and insists that Russia should not participate in all the economic negotiations. A.F.
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/