|Tuesday, 28 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-10-21
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 GUL IN ATHENSAthens, 21 October 2003 (08:59 UTC+2)
Greek-Turkish affairs and the Cyprus issue will be the main topics of discussion during the talks to be carried out by Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, who will meet with the political leadership and opposition today. The expected visit of the US Secretary of State Colin Powell was cancelled due to a heavy schedule.
 CHRISTODOULOS STOPS HIS STATEMENTSAthens, 21 October 2003 (09:00 UTC+2)
The leadership of the Church of Greece seems to have changed its tactics, in view of the Hierarchy's synod, to be held on November 4. Archbishop Christodoulos has allegedly given a direction for all statements making the atmosphere heavier to cease. Honorary President of New Democracy, Constantinos Mitsotakis, characterized the crisis between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Church of Greece, while he asked both ND and the government to contributing to the solution of the issue.
 DEMOLITION REPEALS ILLEGALAthems, 21 October 2003 (09:01 UTC+2)
Within the next few days the findings of inspector Mr. Agiosofitis on responsibilities for the demolition repeals that had been signed by Roubini Stathea (a civil servant who committed suicide last week) will be turned in to the Ministry of Finance, while Deputy Minister of Finance Mr. Fotiades characterized the repeals as illegal. Mrs.Stathea's demotion had been decided on by her superiors at the Ministry of Finance, a few days before she ended her life, according to her husband.
 STEPHANOPOULOS-GUL MEETINGAthens, 21 October 2003 (20:55 UTC+2)
Greek President Kostis Stephanopoulos met at the Presidential Building today with Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, who is on a formal visit to Athens.
The meeting was held in a very warm and friendly atmosphere and they discussed developments in the Cyprus issue, the Greek-Turkish relations and Turkey's European prospect.
During the brief dialogue they had before the television cameras, Mr. Stephanopoulos asked Mr. Gul about the helicopter guided tour he had over the Olympic projects.
The Turkish Foreign Minister stated that he got an overall picture of Athens and added that he was impressed by the Olympic projects.
 THE TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTER FLEW OVER THE OLYMPIC PROJECTS ON BOARD A HELICOPTERAthens, 21 October 2003 (20:37 UTC+2)
Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and Finance Minister Kemal Unakitan, who are on a formal visit to Athens, were offered a helicopter guided tour today over the 2004 Olympic Games projects by Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou.
The Turkish Foreign Minister in comments he made afterwards stated that the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens will be a big success.
Mr. Papandreou spoke of the great honor that was done to Greece when it was picked to host the 2004 Olympic Games. He said that it was a great opportunity not only to upgrade Athens and offer a prospect of development to the area but send a message of cooperation and peace to the wider Balkan region as well.
The Greek Foreign Minister also referred to the cooperation between Greece and Turkey during the Olympic Games.
 THE TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTER SIGNED THE OLYMPIC TRUCE DECLARATIONAthens, 21 October 2003 (19:01 UTC+2)
Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul signed the Olympic Truce declaration in a formal ceremony in Athens today. Mr. Gul met with Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou, Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos, Athens 2004 Organizing Committee President Mrs. Yianna Angelopoulou-Daskalaki and Public Order Minister Giorgos Floridis.
During the contacts he had, Mr. Gul received a detailed briefing on the 2004 Olympic Games preparations, while he expressed the willingness of the Turkish side to contribute to the preparations in the sectors of security, transportation and communications. The Greek and Turkish delegations met to discuss issues concerning the Greek-Turkish dialogue, the Cyprus issue and the course toward the implementation of the so-called low diplomacy agreements.
If we can stop the war for 16 days, maybe we can have peace forever, stated Mr. Papandreou and pointed out that Greece's initiative for the revival of the Olympic Truce was warmly received. He also stated that a new resolution will be signed in the UN issuing an appeal for the support of the Olympic Truce.
Mr. Papandreou pointed out that the declaration has been signed by personalities from around the world among them, Kofi Annan, Nelson Mantela and Bill Clinton as well as, football teams Galata Saray, Olympiakos, Fener Bahce and Panathinaikos. At this point, he reminded that this initiative got underway with his own signature and that of former Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, underlining that Turkey has a significant share in this initiative.
Mr. Gul expressed satisfaction for the signing of the Olympic Truce and congratulated all those participating in the process and the Olympic Games preparations in general.
He also stressed that a preparation will be made in Turkey to expand the sectors in which his country could contribute within the framework of the Olympic Games preparations.
The Turkish Foreign Minister stated that bilateral understanding for the cooperation of Greece and Turkey at Olympic Games preparations level will have a positive effect on bilateral political and economic relations and concluded by wishing success to all the efforts that are being made.
 THE GOV'T SPOKESMAN ON THE STATHEA CASEAthens, 21 October 2003 (17:27 UTC+2)
The government applies the law as always, stated Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas responding to relevant questions on the case of Roubini Stathea, the civil servant who committed suicide recently.
Mr. Protopapas added that the government policy on the demolition of unlicensed constructions is going to continue.
 SATISFACTORY GAINS IN THE ASEAthens, 21 October 2003 (16:37 UTC+2)
Gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +1.15% at 2.145,2 points, while the volume of transactions was satisfactory at 117 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, the overwhelming majority of 277 recorded gains and 44 had losses, while the value of 63 stocks remained unchanged.
 HYDRO-DIPLOMACY IN THE BALKANSThessaloniki, 21 October 2003 (14:10 UTC+2)
The need to apply the principles of hydro-diplomacy in the Balkans and to reach new agreements of inter-border cooperation for the rivers and lakes of Macedonia and Thrace, which Greece shares with Albania, FYROM, Bulgaria and Turkey, was pointed out during the works of the conference on Water paths, peoples' channels of communication, which was organized in Thessaloniki in the framework of the New Balkans 2003 program, of the Ministry of Culture.
As was underlined in the conference's findings, the basic principle for inter-state agreements is the participation of the citizens and local societies, decentralization and proper administration. The new European directive framework on water (2000/60), provides opportunities for cooperation through the formation of inter-border administration bodies for inter-state water parting. We must pass from the era of resolving crises, to preventing them in time and avoiding disputes and conflict due to water. Water, rivers and lakes in the Balkans can become paths towards cooperation, peace and culture, in a region with a troubled past, both for it's environment and regarding it's environmental integrity, as well as for the peaceful coexistence of our peoples.
 PAPANDREOU-GUL STATEMENTS AT AIRPORTAthens, 21 October 2003 (13:06 UTC+2)
Greece and Turkey have made the greatest steps of the last 40 years in their relations, underlined Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou, while his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul observed that very positive steps have been made since 2000 and they will continue.
The two Ministers made statements at the El. Venizelos airport in Athens and reconfirmed the steady will and determination of the two countries to move to a step-by-step approach.
We have turned over a new leaf in Greek-Turkish relations, we have contributed to decreasing the tension, said Mr. Papandreou, adding: The message is to learn from the mistakes of our past, for historians to process them, but we are here for today and tomorrow. We must build the foundation for future generations to live in peace and prosperity.
Mr. Gul stated that the mutual determination of the two sides to resolve their problems with peace and understanding is evident. What encourages the two governments is the will of the two peoples to turn the Aegean into a sea of peace and cooperation of the people. When there is the will for something better from both sides, then there is potential to move even further, he said.
The Turkish Foreign Minister arrived in Athens shortly before noon, for a series of meetings and discussion he is to have with Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou.
His meetings with Mr. Papandreou will begin at 5pm. Prior to that, Mr. Gul will visit Olympic works, he will sign the Olympic Truce and visit the Police Academy.
Tomorrow he will meet with Prime Minister Costas Simitis, President of the Greek Republic Costis Stefanopoulos and the President of the Greek Parliament, Apostolos Kaklamanis. He will depart in the afternoon.
Tomorrow at 7pm, Mr. Papandreou will meet with special coordinator on the Cyprus issue for the State Department, Thomas Weston, who will visit Turkey and Cyprus after visiting Athens.
 A NEW LEAFAthens, 21 October 2003 (11:56 UTC+2)
We have turned over a new leaf in Greek-Turkish relations, said Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandtreou, welcoming his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul, who is on a formal visit to the Greek capital. The two countries in the shores of the Aegean will be able to peacefully solve their differences, stated Mr. Gul.
 EU CONCERN OVER TURKEY'S STANCE TOWARD THE NON-MUSLIM COMMUNITIESBrussels, 21 October 2003 (16:31 UTC+2)
The EU Council of Ministers is concerned with the way the Turkish authorities deal with the non-Muslim communities and their property. The issue was raised by Greek Euro-deputy Yiannis Marinos, elected with the right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy.
Mr. Marinos had stated that non-Muslim communities like Greek Orthodox Christians, Armenians, Jews, Catholics and others live in Turkey. The institutions they have founded own real estate and the Turkish authorities try to take away their property by using legal and other techniques.
In a written statement the Italian EU Presidency expressed the Council of Ministers serious concern over the issue and stressed that in all recent meetings with Turkey it was underlined that the existing situation in the country regarding religious institutions is restrictive and called on Turkey to adopt a different approach.