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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-09-27

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Gov't to seek off-the-agenda debate on foreign policy issues
  • [02] President, PM receive Eurobasket champions Greece

  • [01] Gov't to seek off-the-agenda debate on foreign policy issues

    Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis on Tuesday confirmed that the government will seek an off-the-agenda debate in Parliament on major issues of foreign policy, following a same-day inner Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

    Molyviatis, who briefed the inner Cabinet on several foreign policy fronts, added that the national council for foreign policy will also be convened in the next few days.

    Additionally, he reiterated previous statements by high-ranking government officials who noted that the EU's accession talks with Turkey will - barring any unforeseen development -- begin on Oct. 3.

    "Greece and Cyprus' positions have been absolutely cemented in both texts, the negotiating framework and the EU's counter-statement," he told reporters after the meeting.

    Moreover, he said the beginning of EU-Turkey accession negotiations will gradually -- a word he emphasised -- open the way for a new era in Greek-Turkish relations, "an era of peace and cooperation for the benefit of both peoples and the region".

    "If Turkey, at the conclusion of lengthy negotiations, fulfils all the criteria and conditions then it will deserve full European Union membership," Molyviatis stressed.

    Additionally, the Greek foreign minister referred to certain pending issues involving the negotiation framework for the upcoming EU-Turkey talks, such as a preamble by the EU Presidency at the start of negotiations, although he clarified that such issues are not related to Greek or Cypriot requests.

    Finally, he declined to comment on opposition statements criticising the fact that a timetable for resolving Ankara's differences with Athens has not been implemented, noting that such criticism will be answered in Parliament.

    [02] President, PM receive Eurobasket champions Greece

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Tuesday received Greece's victorious national men's basketball team, which trounced Germany in a tense final to win the European basketball championship on Sunday.

    Papoulias thanked the athletes for their outstanding performance, pointing to the generous accolades in the foreign press, and said that they had given great joy to all Greeks and "filled our hearts with pride".

    Accompanied by Deputy Sports Minister George Orfanos, the president thanked each of the players individually, as well as congratulating their coach Panagiotis Yiannakis and the leadership of the Greek basketball federation for their efforts to bring about this result.

    He also presented the athletes and other sports officials with silver discs and commemorative plaques bearing his signature and the national emblem.

    In return, Yiannakis presented the president with a basketball and a shirt bearing the signatures of the team members.

    The players were next received by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, along with his wife Natasha Karamanlis, Alternate Culture Minister Fani Palli-Petralia and Deputy Sports Minister George Orfanos, who greeted them warmly and thanked them for their victory on behalf of all Greeks.

    "After the great success of the Olympic Games and that of our national team in football, this last success shows not only what we can do but also the power and value that sports can have as a means to promote our country and to earn success," he said.

    The premier also presented the players and coach with gifts, receiving another signed basketball and shirt in return.


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