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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 15-12-03

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Collapse of Schengen spells 'beginning of end' for EU, Avramopoulos warns
  • [02] FM Kotzias to meet US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday

  • [01] Collapse of Schengen spells 'beginning of end' for EU, Avramopoulos warns

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/ C. Vasilaki) -- European Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos on Thursday urged EU member-states to stop what he called the "mutual blame game" and warned that a collapse of the Schengen Pact could spell the "beginning of the end for Europe."

    "We pulled down the walls and fences and now find that some are raising them again," Avramopoulos, who holds the migration, home affairs and citizenship portfolio, said, while calling on all sides to assume their responsibilities.

    "There is only 'we' and 'together' in this," Avramopoulos said. He also pointed out that over the last few decades Europe had made constant efforts to leave behind "all the things that divide us".

    Regarding the refugees and irregular migrants seeking to enter Europe, the Commissioner said they were "not our enemies" and that Europe could not become a "fortress".

    "They are people seeking protection, which we have a moral and legal obligation to offer them. We must respect European values and principles in practice, as these are laid down in the right to free movement and the Schengen Treaty," he said.

    [02] FM Kotzias to meet US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday

    Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias will meet with the US Secretary of State John Kerry, who is visiting Athens for one day, on Friday at the ministry, his office announced.

    Following the expanded talks between the two delegations, the two ministers will make joint statements to media in the early afternoon.

    The talks at the foreign ministry will be preceded by a meeting between Kerry and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, with Kotzias in attendance, at the Maximos Mansion.

    Earlier, during his visit on Cyprus, Kerry referred to "tangible progress" in terms of the Cyprus issue, adding that a solution was within reach. He spoke after separate meetings with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, during his one-day visit on the island.

    He did not field questions from reporters.

    Kerry said this confedence over a solution was reinforced after today's meetings. "This is Cyprus' moment," he noted, saying the solution will not come automatically, but it will come. He also said he was impressed by the two leaders who, as he noted, are working hard to find a solution.


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