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Athens News Agency: News in English, 02-11-16

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Simitis holds telephone conversation with U.S. President Bush, talks
  • [02] Cyprus president arrives in Athens for talks on UN plan

  • [01] Simitis holds telephone conversation with U.S. President Bush, talks with Baykal

    15/11/2002 23:48:31

    WARSAW (ANA - V. Mourtis) - Prime Minister Costas Simitis had a telephone conversation with U.S. President George W. Bush from the Polish capital on Friday and said later the U.S. president was interested primarily in learning whether or not a date will be set at the European Union's Copenhagen summit for the beginning of negotiations with Turkey.

    Simitis, who was speaking after meeting Turkish opposition leader Deniz Baykal, also said President Bush praised Greece's position which, as he said, has stated in principle that it did not desire the EU's door to close to Turkey at the Copenhagen summit and a date to be provided for the beginning of negotiations.

    The Greek prime minister informed President Bush that setting a date for the beginning of negotiations also depends on Turkey's stance, as well as on moves it will make on issues concerning its cooperation with the EU.

    Simitis mentioned two examples affecting cooperation between the EU and Turkey. The first concerns the Cyprus issue and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's blueprint.

    On this issue, Simitis said Turkey must confirm the position for cooperation which passes through the recognition of the UN secretary general's effort and the acceptance of the Annan blueprint in principle as a starting point for negotiations.

    Simitis spoke in a similar manner to Baykal during their 10-minute meeting on the sidelines of the European Socialist Party's Council meeting.

    He told Baykal that the setting of a date for the beginning of EU-Turkish negotiations is not a technical issue but will be a political move on the part of the EU.

    For such a date to be set, Turkey should show that it is aware of the implementation of the Copenhagen criteria and that it will contribute to a solution to various problems, including the Cyprus issue.

    The second example Simitis mentioned to President Bush during their telephone conversation on setting a date for EU-Turkish negotiations concerns the European army.

    Simitis reminded President Bush of the decison taken by the special Brussels summit on the European army which will be brought to NATO's attention at the alliance's summit in Prague next week. He pointed out to President Bush that the issue can be closed if it meets with acceptance from Turkey.

    [02] Cyprus president arrives in Athens for talks on UN plan

    15/11/2002 23:30:53

    Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides arrived in Athens on Friday evening to meet on Saturday with Greece's political leadership, and to discuss the United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan's plan for the resolution of the Cyprus problem.

    ''I believe that all those who speak in favor of, or against the plan do damage and not good. It should have been discussed first, a common strategy should have been decided and we should have had promoted that common strategy,'' Clerides said to journalists upon his arrival.

    He also said that ''there are not traps'' concerning the island republic's accession to the European Union, while responding to a question he said that he did not know whether Turkish Cypriot community leader Rauf Denktash asked for and received an extension to respond whether he accepts the plan.

    He noted, however, that it would not be out of the ordinary for such a development considering Denktash's health.

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