|Thursday, 5 December 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 01-10-10
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 ABDUL SALAM ZAIF: WE CAN HAVE THOUSANDS OF MARTYRSThessaloniki, 10 October 2001 (14:08 UTC+2)
Americans made mistakes. They did not account for the power of Islam or the persistence of the Afghan people. In the war with the Russians we had two million martyrs. If need be, we can have more, stated the Ambassador of Afghanistan in Pakistan, Mullah Abdul Salam Zaif, in an interview with Ta Nea newspaper.
He is the only Ambassador of the Taleban regime and a historic member of their leadership, as well as one of the 7 survivors of 32 member group called Students of the Koran in 1994.
Abdul Slam Zaif accused the US of wanting to control Central Asia for economic reasons, and that they are attacking all Muslim people, not just Afghanistan. He estimated that the Taleban regime can withstand US attacks for a year, and to the question of how this is possible with the entire US military machine against them, he observed: There is not one of us, not ten of us, not a hundred of us, not a thousand of us, not thousands of us, not a million of us. We are many nations, many millions. Let them dream.
 ARMY MANEUVERS CANCELLEDAthens, 10 October 2001 (11:57 UTC+2)
The General Army Staff announced the cancellation of the Nikiforos-Toxotis army maneuvers. The aeronautical maneuvers were scheduled to take place on October 17, but the date will be changed due to the burdening of the Eastern Mediterranean by NATO Air and Naval powers.
 FOREIGN DELEGATIONS AT THE PASOK CONGRESSAthens, 10 October 2001 (13:36 UTC+2)
Delegations of socialist and socialdemocrat parties from 26 countries will be present at the 6th PASOK congress, the doors of which open tomorrow at the facilities of the Olympic Stadium.
Among the staff members of the parties are the President of the European Socialist Party, Robin Cook, the Prime Minister of Albania, Ilir Meta, the President of the Albanian Socialist Party, Fatos Nano, the Honorary President of the Socialist Movement (KISOS) of Cyprus, Vassos Lyssaridis, the Secretary General of AKEL, and others. The leadership of PASOK has addressed invitations to the Palestinian Leader, Yasser Arafat and the Foreign Secretary of Israel, Simon Perez, but they have not yet responded. Parties from Albania, Ukraine, Palestine, Switzerland, Syria, Serbia, Spain, Russia, Romania, Poland, Pakistan, Morocco, Lebanon, Israel, Iran, Hungary, Britain, Germany, France, FYROM, Egypt, Cyprus, Croatia, Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Armenia and Algeria, will all be represented.
 PAPANDREOU PROPOSES DIALOGUE BETWEEN RELIGIONSAthens, 10 October 2001 (11:54 UTC+2)
A proposition of religious dialogue was made by Foreign Secretary Giorgos Papandreou, as a mediation to avert war between religions, after the declaration of a holy war by the Taliban and the appeal of Osama bin Laden's organization for Muslims everywhere to participate. Today, Mr. Papandreou will visit the Ecumenical Patriarchy in Istanbul, and talk with Patriarch Bartholomew about the commencing of a dialogue between the religions.
 REPPAS: THE PROPOSAL FOR A MEETING OF RELIGIOUS LEADERS IS POSITIVEAthens, 10 October 2001 (20:40 UTC+2)
Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas characterized as positive initiative the proposal for a meeting of religious leaders under the auspices of the Ecumenical Patriarch. The proposal was made today by foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou in the meeting he had with the Ecumenical Patriarch and Mr. Reppas stated that dialogue is useful especially at this particular time.
He said that this is a positive initiative, because as it has been stated repeatedly, there is no conflict between religions. Mr. Reppas stated that every religion praises the value of human life, adding that human existence is above everything else.
 REPPAS: WAR IS NOT A POPULAR OPTIONAthens, 10 October 2001 (20:37 UTC+2)
War is not a popular option but we should not miss the fact that a terrorist attack of such a scope cannot remain unanswered, reiterated government spokesman Dimitris Reppas responding to a question on the risk for a widespread destabilization in the world.
He added that all means must be used in a response that will be the final act in a setting of terror and fear created by terrorists, reiterating that there is no conflict between cultures, religions and nations. He also stated that the effort made to combat terrorism should be accompanied by initiatives on different levels namely, political, diplomatic and humanitarian.
Mr. Reppas added that the target is bin Laden and the terrorist networks. Responding to a question on the likelihood of biological warfare, he said that he does not believe that the terrorists will go that far.
 SMALL GAINS IN THE ASEAthens, 10 October 2001 (20:34 UTC+2)
Small gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +0.75% at 2.237,10 points, while the volume of transactions was 69.62 million Euro or 23.72 billion drachmas.
Of the stocks trading today, 254 recorded gains compared to 64 that had losses, while the value of 62 stocks remained stable.
 ARAFAT IS IN ATHENSAthens, 10 October 2001 (19:24 UTC+2)
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat is in Athens, according to press information. Mr. Arafat came to Greece at the invitation of the government to attend the governing socialist party of PASOK congress that opens tomorrow in the Greek capital.
As it was made known, Mr. Arafat will meet later this evening with right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis at a central Athens hotel.
Earlier today, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas had expressed the hope that both Arafat and Israel's foreign minister Simon Peres will be present in the congress.
He also added that this is a very crucial period and for security reasons no announcements could be made on Mr. Arafat's movements.
 TSOCHATZOPOULOS-MILLER MEETINGAthens, 10 October 2001 (18:08 UTC+2)
Minister o defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos had a one-hour meeting with the new US ambassador to Athens Thomas Miller today with whom he discussed the situation after the launch of the US bombing of Afghanistan and the measures taken against the terrorist attacks.
Mr. Miller expressed satisfaction for the job done so far by the Greek government and clarified that this is not a war between peoples or civilizations but a fight against international terrorism. He said that the Afghan people are friends and since the start of the year the United States have offered to Afghanistan humanitarian aid of US$500 million.
He maintained that the evidence proving the guilt of the "al Qaeda" organization have been accepted by the international community and by the Muslim leaders, who condemned terrorism.
He also praised the Greek government decision to postpone the military exercise code-named "Toxotis" and Athens' effort to avert the likelihood of tension in the Greek-Turkish relations.
 GREEK RAILWAYS ORGANIZATION: TRAIN FARE AGREEMENT WITH TURKEY, ROMANIA, BULGARIAThessaloniki, 10 October 2001 (15:54 UTC+2)
The train fare agreement that was signed today by the Greek Railways Organization, FYROM and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia railways organizations is expected to be expanded to Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria as well.
The Greek Railways are expected to also sign an agreement with Croatia and Slovenia to adopt a common train fare and subsequent train fare cuts placing on a new basis commercial transportation between the Balkan states, while having pan-European axis number 10 as a key-point.
The above were stated today to MPA by Greek Railways Organization freight director Loudovikos Kourtidis in a press conference that was given in Thessaloniki aimed at presenting the tripartite agreement.
Mr. Kourtidis stated that the participation in the agreement is a one-way street for the rest Balkan countries as very soon the railway networks of Greece, FYROM and FRY will carry most of the goods transported by train to western Europe.
 CHARGES FILED AGAINST PAPANIKOLAOU HOSPITALThessaloniki, 10 October 2001 (15:14 UTC+2)
Criminal charges were filled against the members of the board of directors of the Papanikolaou Hospital in Thessaloniki, accused on sanitation violations.
According to a report that was submitted to the prosecutor by sanitation authorities, in the hospital kitchen and restaurant were observed sanitation and maintenance violations that could have a negative effect on the health of patients and personnel.
 ANTI-WAR RALLY IN KARDITSAKarditsa, 10 October 2001 (14:20 UTC+2)
An antiwar rally will take place tonight at 8pm in the central square of Karditsa, so that the local bodies can protest against the US attack on Afghanistan.
 AKIS TSOHATZOPOULOS' SECOND BOOKAthens, 10 October 2001 (14:15 UTC+2)
Minister of Defense, Akis Tsohatzopoulos, is publishing his second book, a contribution to the pre-congressional discussions of PASOK, and will present it this afternoon at 6:30pm. Its title is "Notebooks of Political Thought, and includes speeches and interventions of the Minister. His first book was titled, The Society of Solidarity, and was presented in Thessaloniki last Friday.
 PAPANDREOU-VARTHOLOMEOS AGREEMENT ON A SUMMIT MEETING OF RELIGIOUS LEADERSIstanbul, 10 October 2001 (18:46 UTC+2)
Foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou met at the Fanar today with Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos and presented him a proposal for dialogue between representatives of religions after the declaration of a "holy war" by the Taleban in Afghanistan and the appeal issued by bin Laden's "al Qaeda" organization to every Muslim to take part in it.
The Ecumenical Patriarch agreed with Mr. Papandreou's proposal, pointing out that every religion including Islam should cooperate with the political leaders after the latest developments and underlined that in the near future a summit meeting of religious leaders could be held to promote cooperation among the peoples.
Referring to the present situation, the Ecumenical Patriarch expressed the hope that reason will prevail and the danger of terrorism will be avoided.
Foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou pointed out that there are no indications showing that Greece is in danger from terrorism but this does not mean that terrorism is not a concern for everybody, mainly because it undermines the democratic institutions. He also underlined the need for cooperation in order to isolate those religious individuals, who try to use the meaning of religion in a way that promotes violence, terrorism and the lack of tolerance toward everyone who is different. He said that Greece is at the borders separating the Islamic and Christian world and therefore, is the appropriate country to undertake such initiatives.
The Greek foreign minister will convey to the responsible EU institutions the proposal for a dialogue between religions to deal with terrorism and for this purpose, he had already contacts with European Commission president Romano Prodi, Israel's foreign minister Simon Peres, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, and the foreign ministers of Russia, Turkey and the United States.
 ANDREW ATHENS DENIED ALLEGED STATEMENTS ON THE OLYMPIADChicago, 10 October 2001 (15:10 UTC+2)
World Council for Hellenes Abroad, SAE, president Andrew Athens characterized as malicious rumors the statements he allegedly made after the terrorist attacks on the United States according to which, the Athens 2004 Olympic Games should be postponed for security reasons.
Mr. Athens pointed out that as usual certain individuals try to divide Greece and the Greeks living abroad, in view of the 4th World Conference by using statements he did not make.
For the record, a few days ago Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas referring to the issue had offered the government's full backing to the SAE president.