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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 14-01-23

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] FM Venizelos addresses 'Geneva II' Conference on Syria
  • [02] Search for Xiros continues; three arrested

  • [01] FM Venizelos addresses 'Geneva II' Conference on Syria

    ANA-MPA -- Government Vice President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos on Wednesday underlined that Greece, as a country with traditional bonds of friendship with the Syrian people, intends to encourage the two sides in the Syrian conflict to "move ahead on the path of peace."

    Addressing the Geneva II Conference on Syria taking place in Montreux, Switzerland, Venizelos said that "the decision taken by Damascus and the Syrian opposition coalition is a clear indication that they fully understand the magnitude of what is at stake for their country and for the Syrian people."

    Hailing their decision to take part in the Conference, he urged the two sides to display show a genuine spirit of constructiveness and flexibility in the negotiations, for the sake of their own country and for the benefit of the Syrian people and future generations.

    "The international community, including Greece, is ready to support Syria in its efforts to get back on its feet and to rebuild, following a successful outcome of the "Geneva II" transition process," the Greek minister stressed.

    He added that the launch of the "Geneva II" process on Wednesday offered a unique window of opportunity for a political solution of the Syrian crisis, through negotiations, with the facilitation of the Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi, "to whom we lend our full support."

    The Greek minister stressed that Damascus and the Syrian opposition coalition were responsible for trying to reach a political breakthrough, stressing that the two sides agree on Confidence-Building Measures without delay in order to build the trust necessary for the negotiations to succeed.

    He said these should include a local ceasefire, lifting of sieges, humanitarian access, release of prisoners, exchange of detainees, protection and support of vulnerable groups, and ensure the full and equal participation of Syrian women and civil society actors in the Geneva talks and the peace process in general.

    Venizelos also stressed that "any future elections in Syria must take place only in the framework of the Geneva communiqué and the decisions we hope will be taken through the process that has just started."

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    [02] Search for Xiros continues; three arrested

    Counter-terrorism on Wednesday carried out two arrests in Athens and one in Thessaloniki as it continued to search for fugitive terrorist Christodoulos Xiros, who disappeared and has been at large since he failed to return to prison from furlough on January 6. In the context of the search, police conducted raids on the residencies of known antiestablishment activists, finding a number of illegal weapons, while they are also seeking a suspect in Athens.

    The evidence found during the raids and leading to the arrests included: four cans of pepper spray, a pen pistol with cartridges, 11 bullet cartridges and a 9 mm cartridge, a metal baton, a gas mask , three computers, web postings by the Informal Anarchist Federation (FAI) and various publications.

    Searches have been conducted in four houses in Athens and six in Thessaloniki, while two arrests were made on Tuesday, one in Athens and one in Thessaloniki.

    On Wednesday the Greek government posted rewards amounting to four-million-euro for information leading to the arrest of fugitive terrorists Christodoulos Xiros, Nikos Maziotis and Panagiota Roupa, as well as an unspecified number of individuals involved in two murders and a serious injury committed in the Athens district of Neo Iraklio in November.

    According to a statement issued by the Greek police, under a joint ministerial decision by Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias and Alternate Finance Minister Christos Staikouras, up to four-million-euro will be given to anyone who offers any information or evidence that could lead to locating and arresting them.

    Authorities have offered a one-million-euro reward for each of the three convicted terrorists - Xiros, Maziotis and Roupa - and another one million euros for the unidentified perpetrators of the two murders in Neo Iraklio. They also guarantee the anonymity of anyone providing information or evidence, for all authorities and third parties.

    Police appealed to any member of the public with relevant information to contact the phone lines 1014 and 10414, or the counter-terrorism unit's e-mail at ctu@hellenic

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