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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-06-26

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From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] President Papoulias begins visit to Armenia

  • [01] President Papoulias begins visit to Armenia

    President Karolos Papoulias began a three-day state visit to Armenia on Tuesday with talks with Armenian President Robert Kocharian.

    "Turkey should consider that it cannot pursue accession to the European Union with an occupation force amounting to 35,000 in a European Union member-state,(Cyprus)" President Papoulias said during his meeting with President Kocharian.

    "Both our countries border with Turkey and I believe that we share the will for the strengthening of its democratic institutions. Greece has supported the accession course of Turkey from the beginning, because we deeply believe that the EU sets the framework of principles and rules that necessitate respect for international law, respect for democracy and the human rights of minorities. However, we expect Turkey's full compliance with all the criteria and prerequisites of the EU concerning respect for human rights and religious freedoms," the President of the Republic added.

    Asked whether there is a question of Armenia joining the NATO alliance, President Kocharian replied categorically that there is no such question since, as he said, this would not serve his country's security.

    Referring to the level of bilateral relations between the two countries, President Kocharian thanked the Greek side for the many programmes it is implementing in Armenia and in particular in the sectors of defence and agriculture, while expressing the desire for coooperation to be extended to other sectors as well.

    Addressing the Armenian President earlier, President Papoulias referred to the "martyred times that the two countries experienced in the 20th century due to a common cause" and pointed out that "we do not forget the (Armenian) genocide in 1915 and we are proud that under the conditions prevailing at the time the Greeks were among the few peoples who gave asylum to the Armenians."

    President Papoulias also focused on the conflict between Armenians and Azeris over Nagorno Karabakh, saying that Greece supports a peaceful solution to differences.

    "We believe that the framework of the Minsk Group of the OSCE is the best for a solution to the problem and we believe that at the present time conjuncture the involvement of any other agency would be counter-productive," he said.

    Greece, according to data revealed in the framework of talks, is the third biggest investor in Armenia with about 214 million dollars invested in capital, with Russia coming first and the United States second.

    As regards development aid provided by Greece over the period between 1997-2005, it amounted to 26.6 million dollars, while with the signing of a bilateral strategic cooperation document in 2007 covering the 2008-2011 period, another 8 million dollars will be provided.

    President Papoulias will be meeting with President Kocharian again on Wednesday and afterwards with the prime minister. He will then be planting an olive tree at the Armenian genocide monument and later on he will be receiving representatives of the Greek community in Armenia.

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