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Athens News Agency: News in English, 02-11-17

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Clerides confers with Greek leadership over crucial UN Cyprus plan
  • [02] Mostly peaceful marches commemorate Nov. 17 students' uprising
  • [03] Japanese, Thai films split 1st place award at Thessaloniki film
  • [04] Clerides receives Mitsotakis in latest contacts focusing on Annan plan

  • [01] Clerides confers with Greek leadership over crucial UN Cyprus plan (lead-all)

    17/11/2002 22:35:07

    Cyprus President Glafcos completed a whirlwind round of meetings with Greek leadership over the weekend, including PM Costas Simitis and President Kostis Stephanopoulos, as a recently tabled UN peace plan for the divided east Mediterranean island republic on the eve of Cyprus expected EU accession mark probably the most crucial period for resolving the long-standing Cyprus problem.

    Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis received Clerides on Saturday for an hour and a half meeting before a joint press conference, where Simitis said the first issue discussed was whether the Greek Cypriot side should respond in the affirmative to the plan, thereby allowing negotiations based on the proposed plan to begin.

    Simitis noted that Cyprus national council, which will convene on Monday, will of course make the final decision, adding that Clerides told him that most Cypriot parties in the free parts of the island republic backed negotiations.

    ''...and this is the right thing to do, since conducting a dialogue is our standing principle,'' the Greek premier stressed.

    ''There are points which need intensive negotiations and points that should be clarified. We will make our decisions in conjunction with the overall results of the negotiations, depending of course of the willingness of the other side,? Simitis said.

    Simitis also again stressed Athens complete solidarity for Cyprus EU accession course as well as for a just and viable solution of the Cyprus problem.

    He also stressed that there is a necessity for cohesiveness, sobriety and correct reasoning on the basis of a common line of thinking for the future of a reunited and sovereign Cyprus and on the basis of one common position corresponding with the will of the Cyprus people.

    Clerides, responding to a question on whether substantial changes and amendments to the plan can be made, said: ''... we will have to see ... when the negotiations begin,'' adding that it is obvious that both sides will request changes in the text.

    Responding to the same question, Simitis said ''there are points, which we should wrangle with and we will wrangle ... (since) no one is deciding for us''.

    Asked whether this initial text could be signed by the beginning of December, Clerides said again that this will spring from negotiations, before adding that this will also be based on when such negotiations will begin.

    Moreover, in response to a press question, Clerides said he backed the negotiating principle of ''nothing has been decided until all is decided'', adding that this is also UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's position.

    Simitis, on his part, said the ongoing public debate about the plan and possible negotiations was ''...weakening the negotiating trump cards of President Clerides''.

    He added that he also confronted the dilemma ''partition or solution'', saying that matters are not so easy and spoke of the major dangers that existed over the years for the Cypriot people and for Greece from the existing condition on the island.

    He also spoke of the issue of the settlement of occupied northern Cyprus by mainland Turkish nationals, citing the danger of establishing an even more profound demographic change of the islands population if there is no solution.

    [02] Mostly peaceful marches commemorate Nov. 17 students' uprising

    17/11/2002 22:33:55

    Marches and events to commemorate the 29th anniversary of the Nov. 17, 1973 students uprising at the Athens Polytechnic took place throughout Greece on Sunday, with the biggest rally being the traditional march through the Greek capitals downtown streets.

    Police estimated marchers at the Athens rally at around 10,000 -- other press reports varied from 8,000 to 15,000 -- with the main theme this year being opposition to any military action against Iraq as well as banners and slogans against globalisation and imperialism.

    Other marches took place in Thessaloniki and on the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos, among others. Youth groups affiliated with ruling PASOK, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), the Coalition of the Left, and numerous other leftist, labour and peace groups participated in the marches, with the one in Athens estimated as the biggest in recent years.

    Meanwhile, only sporadic acts of violence and vandalism were reported at this year's march, mostly towards its conclusion outside the US embassy, mirroring a trend of recent years of more-or-less peaceful November 17 commemorations. A few dozen hooded youths were the main source of incidents during the march, as they threw rocks and firebombs at nearby police units on at least a couple of occasions before reaching the embassy. Twelve individuals were arrested, according to reports.

    [03] Japanese, Thai films split 1st place award at Thessaloniki film festival

    17/11/2002 22:32:55

    Two films, one from Japan and the other from Thailand, shared the top prize at the closing ceremony of the 43rd annual Thessaloniki International Film Festival on Sunday, each winning a ?Golden Alexander? award in the best feature-length motion picture category.

    ?Mizu No Onna? (Woman of the rain) by Japanese director Hidenori Sugimori and ?Sud Sanaeha? (Forever yours) by Thailands Apichatpong Weerasethakul were the co-winners, splitting the 36,700-euro prize money in the process.

    The second-place ?Silver Alexander? award went to ?Bungalow?, by Germanys Ulrich Kohler, along with 22,000 euros in prize money.

    [04] Clerides receives Mitsotakis in latest contacts focusing on Annan plan

    17/11/2002 18:30:40

    Cyprus President Glafcos continued his high-profile contacts with here on Sunday, meeting in the morning with former Greek prime minister Constantine Mitstotakis, as a recently tabled UN peace plan for the divided east Mediterranean island republic on the eve of Cyprus expected EU accession mark probably the most crucial period for resolving the long-standing Cyprus problem.

    The veteran Cypriot leaders talks with Mitsotakis, himself amongst Greeces longest serving politicians and the honorary president of main opposition New Democracy (ND) party, came after meetings with other top Greek leaders, including President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos, Prime Minister Costas Simitis and other party leaders.

    Afterwards, Mitsotakis said he considers the United Nations plan, unveiled by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan last week, as a basis for further negotiations, while he also said he believes the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot sides will accept an invitation to negotiate on the basis of the plan.

    He also warned against radicalness and ?premature judgements?, saying that if and when an agreement is reached it will be offered for approval in separate referendums by both the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.

    ?We must view the Annan proposal as part of a package for Cyprus accession into the European Union; and we would not accept this agreement if we were not facing the accession. Cyprus (EU) accession softens-over thorny points and weaknesses, and also provides serious guarantees. The major problem continues to lie in the plans functionality,? he said.

    Clerides round of contacts in the Greek capital over the weekend come as the winner of this months general elections in Turkey, AKP party leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is scheduled to arrive in Athens on Monday for talks with Greek leadership, including PM Simitis.


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