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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-01-23

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM to meet British foreign secretary on Thursday

  • [01] PM to meet British foreign secretary on Thursday

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis is due to meet Thursday afternoon with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, who will be on a visit to Greece, it was announced on Monday.

    Straw is also expected to meet with his Greek counterpart Petros Molyviatis.

    According to reports, bilateral relations, the Cyprus issue, European Union developments and cooperation at the UN Security Council level will be discussed.

    Meanwhile, foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos on Monday merely noted that cooperation and communication between Athens and the Cypriot government is constant and a given, in reply to a press question citing the fact that Straw will not meet with Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos during his upcoming visit to Nicosia.

    Asked to comment on the British foreign secretary's insistence on meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat in the so-called "presidential" office located in Turkish-occupied Nicosia, Koumoutsakos said:

    "Straw's visit to Cyprus, according to the foreign office, primarily aims at promoting bilateral relations. We believe it should be held in a manner conducive to its stated -- primarily by the British side -- goal. It should clearly demonstrate that it is a visit that improves relations and does not create new problems where none existed in the past," the foreign ministry spokesman said.

    Straw will travel to Cyprus this week. The island republic's internationally recognised government has reacted strongly to the idea of Straw meeting with the T/C leader at the specific office, arguing that such a meeting could imply indirect recognition of the Turkish military-occupied pseudo-state by London.

    Koumoutsakos also referred to a statement by the British High Commission (embassy) in Nicosia, namely, that London's policy remains unchanged in favor of recognition of only one government on Cyprus, namely, the Republic of Cyprus.

    Finally, Koumoutsakos commented on press reports out of Turkey - published in the mass daily "Miliyet" - claming that Ankara is planning to submit a proposal for a resumption of talks aimed at a Cyprus solution.

    "The information we have and are scrutinising is that the Turkish side will submit a series of thoughts tomorrow (Tuesday) over a resumption in the process (towards a solution) for the Cyprus issue. This is, nevertheless, a unilateral action," he said, adding:

    "Whatever thought, prospect or proposal for a solution to the Cyprus problem is not linked with the obligation that EU candidate-state Turkey has assumed - based on the European Union's official texts" to implement the customs union protocol with Cyprus, he concluded.

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