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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-01-31

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] SI presidency a great responsibility, Papandreou says

  • [01] SI presidency a great responsibility, Papandreou says

    Main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou, speaking at a press conference on Tuesday at the end of the Socialist International's session, said that his election as its president was a "great honour and responsibility".

    Papandreou said that he will be able to serve Greece, PASOK and his future government even better from this position.

    "It is an opportunity for this position to be utilised for the promotion of new ideas and proposals, as well as the experience of tens of parties and the promotion of the country in the Socialist International," he said.

    The PASOK leader further said that today, due to globalisation, all the less can there be a separation between internal and national issues from foreign ones.

    On the question of terrorism and the "trend existing in Europe to restrict democratic rights", Papandreou said that terrorism is confronted with the handling of the problems which create polarisation and fundamentalism at their root. He said it is less a police issue and more a political one.

    Asked whether he intends to assume any initiatives on the issue of Cyprus in his new capacity, Papandreou said that he will continue to preoccupy himself with the issue and with efforts to resolve it, without announcing any specifc initiative.

    As regards the issue of Kosovo, on which there was a different approach from leaders of parties in the region and from the President of Serbia Boris Tadic, the PASOK leader, replying to a relevant question, said that the Socialist International will support the efforts of Marti Ahtisaari in the area and will facilitate dialogue.

    However, he added, whatever solution should be a peaceful one and respect human rights and the multiculturality of the Balkan region.

    Papandreou said that the Socialist International certifies that there were democratic procedures in the elections in Palestinian territory and congratulated the Palestinian Authority. He also expressed the Socialist International's respect for the decisions of the Palestinian people, adding that an opportunity must be given to the new government which he hopes, as he said, will follow the path of dialogue and the avoidance of the use of force in the direction of the existence of two sovereign states of Israel and Palestine.

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