|Saturday, 25 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-10-18
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 H. OZKOK: "TURKEY MUST REMAIN IN CYPRUS"Athens, 18 October 2003 (14:47 UTC+2)
The appreciation that if Turkey's accession to the EU proceeds, the problems in the Aegean will be solved within a week, was expressed by the Head of the Turkish Armed Forces, General Hilmi Ozkok.
However, he underlined that Turkey must remain in Cyprus. We want a Cyprus from which we cannot pull out and from where we can defend Turkey, he mentioned characteristically.
He pointed out that the Turkish Army supports Turkey's accession to the EU. We are confident that Turkey's accession will help strengthen the welfare state, economic growth, as well as the development of institutions, rules, and quality of life.
In an interview to the Eleftherotypia newspaper, Mr. Ozkok insists on Turkey's claims in the Aegean, noting: You cannot talk of good will, when Greece carries out actions violating the Lozanne Treaty, mainly the violation of the regime of demilitarization of the islands of the Eastern Aegean and when you are trying to legalize them with their participation in military exercises and NATO plans.
The FIR is one of the problems. There are still the issues of air space, ten or six miles, the demilitarization of the islands, and our aircrafts' flights in international air space. A web of problems, he added.
The head of the Turkish Armed Forces also stressed that 2004 is not the final deadline for the solution of the differences via the International Court, but the date at which the European Council will examine the situation where there are pending differences.
 A DEEPENING CHASMAthens, 18 October 2003 (14:47 UTC+2)
The chasm between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Archbishopric of Athens is deepening, as, according to a Patriarchate announcement on Friday, it condemns the statements of former ND President M. Evert, and asked politicians not to involve themselves in Church matters. A plan by ecclesiastic circles to reduce the Patriarch was denounced by Mr. Vartholomeos, attributing the current crisis to human ambitions and bad counseling of the Archbishop. I prefer peace, but if I am challenged to war, my quiver is full, said the Patriarch in his television interview.
 SOLUTION IN A WEEK, IF...Athens, 18 October 2003 (17:15 UTC+2)
Three days before the Gul visit to Athens, the Head of the Turkish Armed Forces, General I. Ozkok, in an interview to the Eleftherotypia newspaper, expressed his appreciation that if Turkey's accession to the EU proceeds, the problems in the Aegean will be solved within a week However, he underlined that Turkey must remain in Cyprus. We want a Cyprus from which we cannot pull out and from where we can defend Turkey. If things are as easy as Mr. Ozkok stated, I imagine Turkey can begin its contribution to the resolving of the Cyprus issue now, so that it can benefit its European course later, commented Government Spokesperson Ch. Protopapas.
 PROTOPAPAS STATEMENTS REGARDING OZKOKAthens, 18 October 2003 (17:06 UTC+2)
His view that Turkey could begin contributing to the resolving of the Cyprus issue now, was expressed by Government Spokesperson Christos Protopapas, while commenting on the statements of Turkey's Head of Armed Forces, General Hilmi Ozkok. If things are as easy as Mr. Ozkok stated, I imagine Turkey can begin its contribution to the resolving of the Cyprus issue now, so that it can benefit its European course later, said Mr. Protopapas.
Meanwhile, commenting on Mr. Karamanlis' statements during his tour of Epirus, Mr. Protopapas mentioned the infrastructure works being carried out in the area ( the Egnatia highway, the Igoumenitsa harbor, and the Ioannina Technological Park) and stated that the PASOK government, with its works which are deeds, has raised and will continue to raise the standards for Epirus.
Commenting on recent polls, he said that there was useful information therein, but they in no way define the policies of the government, nor do they predetermine the choice and vote of the people.
On the Church issue, he repeated that the state will not intervene on an important issue of Orthodoxy, which must be resolved within the Church itself. New Democracy officials must stop their unacceptable interventions, and show the minimum of seriousness and responsibility, he underlined.
 NEW DATA ON EUROPEAN DEFENSEBrussels, 18 October 2003 (14:47 UTC+2)
New data on the autonomous promotion of European Defense was created by the lifting of British hesitations regarding the French-German initiative, pointed out Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis, at the press conference he held after the end of the informal EU Summit's works in Brussels.
European Defense and related proposals in the draft of the new European Constitution were some of the most important issues to occupy the leaders of the Enlarged European Union, during their working dinner in the Belgian capital.
The Greek Prime Minister noted that they is a series of especially important provisions securing the standing goal and autonomous European defense, always in cooperation with NATO, where decisions will be made at an EU level.
In the meanwhile, until the formation of a framework of European Defense is finalized, the creation of a common defense system has been foreseen, which will include a clause of mutual subscription in case any member state has to deal with any threat.
The Constitution's draft also includes a proposal for structured cooperation in the defense sector, carrying out missions of a mainly humanitarian character, where decision making is strictly up to those involved, in combination with the strengthened cooperation, where decisions will be made at an EU level.
A coordination of European defense industries is also foreseen, both in the research and the production sectors, with the formation of the European Arms Organization.
Mr. Simitis pointed out Greece's active participation in the decision for structured cooperation in the defense sector at the recent informal EU Defense Minister Council in Rome. The Greek contribution to the procedures for the formation of the initiative for the development of European Defense, is confirmed by the participation of the Greek Minister of Defense Giannos Papantoniou in the Informal Meeting on the issue, with his French, German and British counterparts, in Colorado, in the margin of the NATO Meeting.
As the Prime Minister mentioned, Britain has overcome its hesitations regarding a structured cooperation, for the creation of an autonomous European defense system of the European Union, but was reserved as far as mutual subscription was concerned.
Regarding a question on the Cyprus issue, Mr. Simitis foresaw that there would be no developments until the elections in the Occupied Territories in December, but 2004 will be a crucial year for Cyprus.