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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 99-11-19

Macedonian Press Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.


MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH
Thessaloniki, November 19, 1999

SECTIONS

  • [A] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] US PRESIDENT CLINTON ARRIVES IN ATHENS THIS EVENING
  • [02] UNPRECEDENTED SECURITY MEASURES FOR US PRESIDENT CLINTON
  • [03] PROTESTERS VOW TO HOLD RALLIES AS PLANNED THIS EVENING
  • [04] CLINTON EXPECTED TO SALUTE GREECE'S LEADING ROLE IN BALKANS
  • [05] THESSALONIKI TO HOST SEXUAL HARASSMENT FORUM ON MONDAY
  • [06] PRESIDENT CLINTON WILL BE FORMALLY WELCOMED IN THE PRESIDENTIAL BUILDING
  • [07] CHRISOCHOIDES: THE POLICE FORCES WILL NOT TOUCH CIVILIANS
  • [08] THE ACTING GREEK GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN BRIEFED THE REPORTERS [[09] THE FIRST OBJECTS HAVE BEEN PULLED OUT OF THE WRECK OF THE OTTOMAN FLAGSHIP "FETIH BULENT" IN THE THERMAIKOS BAY
  • [10] AWARD WINNING REPORTS BY STUDENTS FROM 11 EUROPEAN COUNTRIES GIVE A RESPONSE TO THOSE EXCLUDING GREECE FROM THE MUSEUM OF EUROPEAN CULTURE
  • [11] VIOLENT INCIDENTS IN ATHENS AND THESSALONIKI DURING THE ARRIVAL OF CLINTON
  • [12] CLINTON: GREECE IS A MODEL OF DEMOCRACY
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [13] PREMIER, FM, HOLD BRIEF TALKS WITH CLINTON AT OSCE SIDELINES
  • [14] GREEK PM: YES TO TURKEY'S EU CANDIDACY, UNDER CERTAIN TERMS
  • [15] CLINTON REFERS TO CHECHNYA AND YUGOSLAVIA AT OSCE SUMMIT
  • [16] ADAPTATION OF CONVENTIONAL FORCES IN EUROPE TREATY SIGNED
  • [17] YELTSIN: OSCE HAS NO RIGHT TO CRITICIZE US FOR CHECHNYA
  • [18] GREEK AND EGYPTIAN ENTREPRENEURS MEET IN ALEXANDRIA
  • [19] EU COMMISSION CHAIRMAN ROMANO PRODI ADDRESSES OSCE SUMMIT
  • [20] CLERIDES, DENKTASH TO MEET WITH ANNAN IN ISTANBUL TODAY
  • [21] US PRESIDENT CLINTON SAYS HE DOESN'T MIND GREEK PROTESTS
  • [22] "ECONOMIST" ASSESSES:PASOK WILL WIN EARLY ELECTIONS IN MARCH
  • [23] THE FOREIGN NEWS AGENCIES REFER TO THE SECURITY MEASURES IN ATHENS FOR THE CLINTON VISIT
  • [24] THE US FOLLOWS A SHORT-SIGHTED POLICY TOWARD TURKEY, ACCORDING TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES
  • [25] THE CONVENTIONAL ARMS TREATY IN EUROPE
  • [26] GREEK-TURKISH INITIATIVE ON HUMAN RIGHTS
  • [27] THE PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RAISES THE ISSUE OF THE RETURN OF THE PARTHENON MARBLES TO GREECE
  • [28] EUROPE'S SECURITY CHARTER HAS BEEN SIGNED - - - - - - - - - - - - -

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] US PRESIDENT CLINTON ARRIVES IN ATHENS THIS EVENING

    United States President Bill Clinton will arrive in Athens this evening for a 24-hour visit where he will hold talks with Greek government officials.

    Air Force One will land at 6:35 p.m. at Athens' international airport. Shortly after his arrival, Mr. Clinton and his wife Hillary and daughter Chelsea will attend a banquet at the presidential mansion to be given in his honor by the President of the Hellenic Republic Costis Stephanopoulos. Messrs. Clinton and Stephanopoulos will hold a brief private discussion at the presidential mansion tomorrow at 10:25 a.m., after which they will be joined by aides.

    Also tomorrow, Mr. Clinton will meet with Prime Minister Costas Simitis and, following their talks, the two leaders will give a joint press conference.

    [02] UNPRECEDENTED SECURITY MEASURES FOR US PRESIDENT CLINTON

    A corps of over 7,000 Greek policemen will surround the visiting President of the United States Bill Clinton and his entourage, during his 24-hour stay in Greece.

    The US President will be accompanied - aside from First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and daughter Chelsea- by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Assistant Secretary of State Marc Grossman, National Security adviser Sandy Berger, White House Chief of Staff Tony Podesta, National Security Council European Affairs director Tony Blinken and Ambassador Alfred Moses, the presidential Cyprus envoy.

    The Attica police chief has issued an order banning all protests, rallies and marches in central Athens today and tomorrow, closing all access to central Athens and from the airport to the center of the Greek capital, beginning at 3 p.m. and ending tomorrow at 5 p.m.

    [03] PROTESTERS VOW TO HOLD RALLIES AS PLANNED THIS EVENING

    The organizers of a rally planned in Athens today in protest to US President Bill Clinton's visit have vowed to proceed with their plans to reach the U.S. Embassy this evening.

    Appearing before the State Council today, the Greek Committee for International Detente will file a petition to quash and suspend the restraining orders issued by the Attica police chief who has banned all protests in central Athens between 3 p.m. today and 5 p.m. tomorrow.

    A similar rally will be held in Thessaloniki today, where the protesters will march to the US Consulate at 5 p.m.

    [04] CLINTON EXPECTED TO SALUTE GREECE'S LEADING ROLE IN BALKANS

    In his address at a formal banquet to be given tomorrow before a score of leading Greek politicians and entrepreneurs, the visiting President of the United States Bill Clinton is expected to outline Greece's leading role in the Balkans and urge the development of US-Greek cooperation.

    The banquet is co-organized by the Greek- American Chamber of Commerce, the Propeller Club and the US-Greece Business Council.

    Among the sectors of mutual US-Greece interest are information, energy, tele- communications and services, as well as the Olympic Games of the year 2004.

    [05] THESSALONIKI TO HOST SEXUAL HARASSMENT FORUM ON MONDAY

    A public forum will be held in Thessaloniki on Monday, November 22, where the participants will address the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace and its repercussions.

    The event will be held at 6 p.m. in the Macedonia Palace Hotel and will feature the participation of European Parliament deputy Ioannis Koskiadis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki associate professor Nikolaos Intzesiloglou and Nicotex president Elli Nikolaidou.

    [06] PRESIDENT CLINTON WILL BE FORMALLY WELCOMED IN THE PRESIDENTIAL BUILDING

    US president Bill Clinton is expected to arrive at the Athens Airport at 6:35pm this afternoon and immediately he will go to the presidential building where he will be formally welcomed by the Greek president and the government.

    Mr. Clinton will stay in the Intercontinental Hotel and later in the evening he will attend a formal dinner that will be given in his honor in the presidential building. Tomorrow morning, the US president will have talks with president Kostis Stephanopoulos and prime minister Kostas Simitis. After the end of the talks between the US and Greek delegations Bill Clinton and Kostas Simitis will give a joint press conference that will last half an hour and reporters will be allowed to make a limited number of questions. At noon, the US president will deliver a speech before a Greek- American audience in Intercontinental Hotel and he will refer to bilateral relations.

    [07] CHRISOCHOIDES: THE POLICE FORCES WILL NOT TOUCH CIVILIANS

    There will be no provocation by the police forces and they will not touch civilians, stated in parliament minister of public order Michalis Chrisochoides.

    Responding to a question by Communist Party deputy Orestis Kolozov on the banning of protest rallies in the center of Athens, Mr. Chrisochoides stated that there is no protest demonstration ban stressing that for security reasons the protesters must be kept away from certain areas.

    [08] THE ACTING GREEK GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN BRIEFED THE REPORTERS

    Minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos did not dissociate the issue of Turkey's bid to become a member of the EU from the Cyprus issue, stated acting Greek government spokesman Yiannis Nikolaou when asked to comment on the statements made yesterday by the minister of defense.

    Mr. Nikolaou added that Mr. Tsochatzopoulos expressed the firm positions of the Greek government.

    The acting Greek government spokesman responding to a question on whether the issue of terrorism will be discussed in the Clinton- Simitis meeting, stated that the government does not intend to sign any separate agreement on terrorism with the United States.

    On the planned protest demonstrations, Mr. Nikolaou expressed the hope that the necessary political maturity and sense of responsibility will be displayed in order to avoid any problems in the protest demonstrations, adding that the police forces will not touch the citizens.

    [[09] THE FIRST OBJECTS HAVE BEEN PULLED OUT OF THE WRECK OF THE OTTOMAN FLAGSHIP "FETIH BULENT" IN THE THERMAIKOS BAY

    Divers have pulled out of the Ottoman flagship "Fetih Bulent" a number of objects. The ship had been hit by admiral Votsis and went down in the Thermaikos Bay on October 18, 1912 and most of the 25 objects that were retrieved were made of iron.

    The divers expressed the certainty that the objects come from the "Fetih Bulent" but Naval Commander in northern Greece captain Athanasios Papachristopoulos appeared cautious saying that the archaeological agency is responsible to determine if this is really the case.

    The search for the shipwreck was launched at the orders of the Navy General Staff on October 25.

    [10] AWARD WINNING REPORTS BY STUDENTS FROM 11 EUROPEAN COUNTRIES GIVE A RESPONSE TO THOSE EXCLUDING GREECE FROM THE MUSEUM OF EUROPEAN CULTURE

    Students from 11 European countries, who received prizes for their reports on the survival of the Greek-Roman civilization in the European culture in the second half of the 20th century, gave an unanswerable response to those who want to exclude Greece from the Museum of European Culture.

    The 26 reports are included in a volume published by Thessaloniki's Aristotle University. The reports received distinctions within the framework of the European program Kaleidoscope in the academic year 1995-96.

    The program aims at the promotion of the unique and creative thought and the strengthening of the European idea among the young with reference to the roots of the European culture which are traced back to ancient Greece and Rome.

    The countries of origin of the award winning students are Austria (1), France (2), Germany (4), Denmark (1), Greece (4), Ireland (2), Spain (4), Italy (1), Norway (4), Holland (2) and Finland (1).

    [11] VIOLENT INCIDENTS IN ATHENS AND THESSALONIKI DURING THE ARRIVAL OF CLINTON

    Serious incidents erupted in the center of Athens just before the landing of the US president's plane at the Athens Airport. A group of demonstrators attempted to cross the police line in the region of the Sintagma Square and move toward the US embassy building.

    The police forces stopped the protesters and they used tear gas when certain of them threw stones against them. They were pushed back and as a result violent clashes erupted. Anarchists wearing hoods over their heads burned the American flag in the area of the university of Athens.

    In Thessaloniki, a group of protesters attempted to enter the facilities of the port in order to approach the storage areas rented by NATO for the needs of the KFOR.

    [12] CLINTON: GREECE IS A MODEL OF DEMOCRACY

    US president Bill Clinton characterized Greece as a model of democracy upon his arrival at the Athens Airport late this afternoon where he was warmly welcomed by the Greek state. Mr. Clinton underlined that with his visit wants the American people to see the face of Greece that changes, describing the country as the bastion of south-eastern Europe and a model for the new democracies of the Balkans.

    The "Air Force 1" aircraft with the US president landed at 18:50pm this afternoon, while the members of his entourage had arrived earlier together with a large group of American journalists who cover Mr. Clinton's tour. The US president was welcomed at the airport by Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou, deputy foreign minister Christos Rokofillos, undersecretary of foreign affairs Grigoris Niotis, US ambassador to Athens Nicholas Burns, the board of directors of the Greek-US Chamber and an armed forces delegation.

    The US president, who was accompanied by his wife Hillary, his daughter Chelsea and US secretary of state Madeleine Albright gave a small speech directed mainly to the Greek- Americans who had gathered at the airport to welcome him.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [13] PREMIER, FM, HOLD BRIEF TALKS WITH CLINTON AT OSCE SIDELINES

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Foreign Minster George Papandreou held brief talks with the President of the United States Bill Clinton yesterday, on the sidelines of the Istanbul-held summit of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

    Mr. Simitis stated that the US President expressed an interest in the talks the Greek Premier had held earlier with his Turkish counterpart Bulent Ecevit and referred to issues related to peace and security in the eastern Mediterranean region, and Turkey's European Union candidacy.

    Referring to the US leader's imminent arrival to Athens, Mr. Simitis stated that it represents a significant opportunity for Greece to outline its positions.

    Foreign Minister George Papandreou also briefly attended the Simitis-Clinton talks.

    [14] GREEK PM: YES TO TURKEY'S EU CANDIDACY, UNDER CERTAIN TERMS

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis reiterated Greece's firm positions concerning Turkey's European perspective, during a press conference he gave in Istanbul yesterday following talks with his Turkish counterpart Bulent Ecevit.

    Mr. Simitis stressed that all matters dividing the two neighbors will have to enter a course of regulation, while he noted that Mr. Ecevit's statement that Turkey holds no territorial claims against Greece is very satisfactory.

    "Greece supports Turkey's EU prospect because it believes that European Union cooperation with Turkey will benefit both the EU and Turkey", Mr. Simitis stated.

    Moreover, the Greek Premier stated that there is mobility noted in national matters and expressed his hope for solutions to be discovered. He stated that during his talks with Mr. Ecevit he referred to the Cyprus issue, the continental shelf, International Law and treaties pertaining to the Aegean Sea.

    The Premier underlined that the talks with his Turkish counterpart were held in a very friendly climate, stating that "we exchanged points of view."

    Referring to the continental shelf, Mr. Simitis stated that talks will continue for a course of another six months prior to seeking recourse with the Hague.

    Mr. Ecevit stated that he had an opportunity to thank Prime Minister Simitis at the meeting for Greece's contribution to the relief efforts of the quake disasters in Turkey.

    He stated that quake disasters in Turkey and Greece had shown once again the necessity of cooperation between the two countries.

    [15] CLINTON REFERS TO CHECHNYA AND YUGOSLAVIA AT OSCE SUMMIT

    Addressing the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Summit in Istanbul, United States President Bill Clinton stated that Russia has not only the right, but the obligation, to defend its territorial integrity.

    Mr. Clinton stated that Russia's global integration has rightly sought to advance, "with our strong support. Russia's friends are united, I believe, in what we think should happen: appropriate measures to end terrorism, protection of innocent civilians, a commitment to allow refugees to return in safety, access for relief groups, and a common effort to rebuild."

    Stressing that the global community wants to see Russia a stable, prosperous, strong democracy with secure borders, strong defenses, and a leading voice in world affairs.

    " I have often asked myself, and I hope all of you have, what I would do if I were in President Yeltsin's place," Mr. Clinton pondered.

    "I think before any of us sit in judgment, we should be able to answer that question.

    "Russia has faced rebellion within, and related violence beyond, the borders of Chechnya. It has responded with a military strategy designed to break the resistance and end the terror. The strategy has led to substantial casualties and very large flows of refugees. Russia's friends are united, I believe, in what we think should happen: appropriate measures to end terrorism, protection of innocent civilians, a commitment to allow refugees to return in safety, access for relief groups, and a common effort to rebuild. In other words, in order to isolate and undermine the terrorists, there must be a political dialogue and a political settlement, not with terrorists, but with those who are willing to seek a peaceful resolution," the US President said.

    Referring to Yugoslavia, Mr. Clinton stated "finally, let me say I have to respectfully disagree with my friend President Yeltsin in his characterization of U.S. led NATO aggression in Yugoslavia.

    "Consider Bosnia, where the world community waited four years, and we saw 2.5 million refugees and 250 thousand deaths placed on the altar of ethnic cleansing. Consider Kosovo, where the world community did not wait, but there were still thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of refugees. But unlike Bosnia, because we acted more quickly, they are almost all home today, coming to grips with the challenge of the coming winter. So I believe we did the right thing."

    [16] ADAPTATION OF CONVENTIONAL FORCES IN EUROPE TREATY SIGNED

    An agreement on the adaptation of the Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) was signed today by the leaders of 30 countries which are parties to the CFE at the Istanbul- held summit of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

    Turkish President Suleiman Demirel stated that the Agreement "demonstrates the strength, vitality and value" of the CFE Treaty, adding that "skeptics, who predicted failure of the Agreement, turned out to be wrong."

    [17] YELTSIN: OSCE HAS NO RIGHT TO CRITICIZE US FOR CHECHNYA

    Russian President Boris Yeltsin told the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) had no right to criticize Russia for Chechnya.

    Addressing the OSCE Summit in Istanbul, Mr. Yeltsin told heads of states and governments of 54 countries not to criticize his fight against "bandits and murderers."

    Referring to the U.S.-led NATO bombing over Kosovo earlier this year as an example, the Russian President noted, "appeals for humanitarian interference in the affairs of another state is merely a pretext for protecting human rights and freedoms. We all know already what disproportionate consequences such interference can cause."

    Mr. Yeltsin further added that this tragedy has been felt thousands of families in every corner of Russia. "We are obliged to put an end to the spread of the cancer of terrorism. You have no right to criticize Russia for Chechnya."

    Referring to countries supporting the rebellions in Chechnya, albeit not naming them, Mr. Yeltsin said, "thousands of soldiers who were trained in Chechnya and other countries, are preparing to spread terror in the world. I am calling on leaders of these countries to end their supportive attitude towards terrorists."

    [18] GREEK AND EGYPTIAN ENTREPRENEURS MEET IN ALEXANDRIA

    Greek entrepreneurs met with their Egyptian counterparts in a symposium held in Alexandria, within the framework of developing bilateral cooperation in the economic and trade sectors.

    Addressing the event, the governor of the National Bank of Greece Theodoros Karatzas stated that the National Bank will set up a business risk insurance company with assets amounting to 50 million dollars. He also said that the National Bank and Greek shipping companies will establish a shipping line between Greece and Egypt, a move that would help to boost tourism between the two countries.

    The new company will initially have a share capital of 50 million US dollars, with both banks holding equal stakes.

    [19] EU COMMISSION CHAIRMAN ROMANO PRODI ADDRESSES OSCE SUMMIT

    European Commission Chairman Romano Prodi stated yesterday that the Commission was considering providing 5.5 billion Euros (5.74 billion U.S. dollars) in aid to countries in the western Balkans.

    Addressing the Istanbul-held summit of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Mr. Prodi said that as a comprehensive action plan for the region, the Commission is preparing a new regulation to cover all our assistance to the western Balkans in the period 2000-2006 and is considering allocating a sum of around 5.5 billion Euro to back it.

    "'This would include provision for Yugoslavia. The people of Serbia can count on our full assistance as soon as the political conditions set by the international community are met," he added.

    Mr. Prodi said the proposed aid for countries in the west of the Balkans was in addition to investment of six billion Euro planned for Bulgaria and Romania in the south- east.

    "This means that we are proposing a program of almost 12 billion Euro for southeastern Europe for 2000 to 2006, with substantial additional funds to come from member states," he added.

    During his stay in Istanbul, Mr. Prodi met with Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos with whom he discussed issues of human rights and religious freedom in Turkey, the re-opening of the Halki Theological School and Turkey's European prospects.

    [20] CLERIDES, DENKTASH TO MEET WITH ANNAN IN ISTANBUL TODAY

    United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan is set to meet Greek-Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash in Istanbul today, two weeks before he initiates indirect talks between the two in New York.

    According to the French news agency AFP, Messrs. Annan and Clerides, who are in Istanbul for the summit of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, are scheduled to meet before noon, while Mr. Annan will then have talks with Mr. Denktash in the evening.

    The talks are expected to discuss the methods to be applied during their proximity talks in New York during December.

    [21] US PRESIDENT CLINTON SAYS HE DOESN'T MIND GREEK PROTESTS

    United States President Bill Clinton, who is expected to arrive in Athens this evening, stated that he knows a lot of people in Greece disagree with his position in Kosovo, but, he added, "they have a right to their opinion and I have a right to mine."

    He stated that "I believe that I was right and I think the facts have proved that I was right. But I don't mind (the protests). Greece is the world's oldest democracy. If people want to protest, they ought to have a chance to do it."

    Mr. Clinton stated that he is coming to Greece to "talk about what we have in common."

    He further added that he believes the Greek people and government are encouraged by a new initiative on Cyprus.

    [22] "ECONOMIST" ASSESSES:PASOK WILL WIN EARLY ELECTIONS IN MARCH

    In its annual report for the year 2000, the "Economist" financial review assesses that Greece's ruling PASOK party will win March's early elections, and that with a narrow margin.

    However, the article's reports forecast that "thorny" issues, such as Greek-Turkish relations and Cyprus, will remain unsolved, in spite of continued talks between the two sides.

    In regards to Greece's economy, the article is confident of Greece's accession to the Economic and Monetary Union, albeit it does have reservations concerning the country's inflation rate in relation to the Maastricht criterion.

    [23] THE FOREIGN NEWS AGENCIES REFER TO THE SECURITY MEASURES IN ATHENS FOR THE CLINTON VISIT

    The international news agencies refer to the unprecedented, as they characterize them, security measures that were imposed by the Greek government in view of US president Bill Clinton's visit to Athens which starts this afternoon.

    The Associated Press points out that such tough police measures have not been imposed in Greece since the period of the Greek junta, while the Reuters emphasizes the decision of the leftists to ignore the police bans and proceed with protest demonstrations during the US president's stay in Athens.

    The US newspaper The New York Times also refers to the security measures and to the protests against the US policy and the Clinton visit, while it points out that the anti- American sentiment in Greece is a reminder of the hostility against the United States that was dominant in many European and Latin American countries during the cold war era.

    The newspaper attributes the cold war atmosphere in Athens to the fact that the majority of the people blame Washington for the 7year dictatorship in Greece and the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, while the shortening of the Clinton visit to Greece is regarded as a blow to the Simitis government.

    The British newspaper The London Times also refers to Mr. Clinton's visit to Athens and Florence and among others it stresses that the security problems were the cause for the drastic change in the schedule and the contacts of the US president in Greece. In view of Mr. Clinton's visit to Florence, Italy The London Times gives an emphasis to the statement issued by the Italian police which stresses that it will be totally responsible for president Clinton's safety and that it is not willing to surrender the control of an Italian city to the United States.

    [24] THE US FOLLOWS A SHORT-SIGHTED POLICY TOWARD TURKEY, ACCORDING TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

    The US newspaper "Washington Times" justifies the Greek reactions as the result of the US policy which favors Turkey.

    In an article signed by Ted Galen Carpenter vice-president of the CATO Institute, it is stressed that the anti-American demonstrations in Greece should not be a surprise for the White House because they stem not only from the outrage because of the US support to the military junta that ruled the country in 1967- 1974 and the popular opposition to the NATO war against Serbia but from the increased discontent due to the fact that Washington chooses more and more to turn a blind eye to Turkey's actions such as, its military aggressiveness, the ethnic cleansing and the widespread human rights violations recorded in the country.

    It is also underlined that the Greeks are outraged because they see that Ankara has become the beloved ally of the United States and that Turkey is being forgiven even when it murders its own citizens.

    The stance of Washington toward Ankara is short-sighted and hypocritical, writes the columnist as Turkey is a country that creates problems to its neighbors and is not a stabilizing force that preserves the status quo.

    [25] THE CONVENTIONAL ARMS TREATY IN EUROPE

    Greece, taking under consideration the security correlation in its immediate neighborhood, wanted to achieve its main goals namely, to have no change in the armaments ceiling and safeguard equality within the conventional arms treaty in Europe, according to a statement issued by the prime minister's office.

    The treaty will open in the immediate future to include more OSCE countries a fact that will widen security in Europe, a principle defended by Greece.

    [26] GREEK-TURKISH INITIATIVE ON HUMAN RIGHTS

    Representatives of Greek, Turkish and other human rights organizations met in Istanbul on the sidelines of the OSCE conference.

    At the initiative of Greece a decision was reached for the opening of a dialogue between Greek and Turkish non governmental organizations and social groups aimed at promoting common interests in the area of human rights.

    [27] THE PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RAISES THE ISSUE OF THE RETURN OF THE PARTHENON MARBLES TO GREECE

    European Parliament president Nicole Fontain raised the issue of the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece after a request submitted by Greek Euro-deputies Giorgos Katiforis and Petros Efthimiou.

    The two had requested that Ms. Fontain sent a letter addressed to the speaker of the British House of Commons reminding him of the written statement issued in November 1998 with which the European Parliament asks from the British government the return of the marbles to their place of origin. Also, they had requested that Ms. Fontain made all necessary moves for the participation of a European Parliament delegation in the proceedings of the House of Commons committee which will deal with the issue of the return of cultural treasures that had entered Britain illegally, among them the Parthenon Marbles.

    Ms. Fontain responding to the two Euro- deputies pointed out that she will not only send a letter to which the Euro-Parliament's written statement will be attached but she will also call on the House of Commons speaker to brief her on the proceedings of the committee that will consider the issue of the return of the Parthenon Marbles. On the issue of the participation of a European Parliament delegation in the proceedings of the examining committee, Ms. Fontain gave the assurance that she will bring the issue to the leaders of the different political groups in the European Parliament.

    [28] EUROPE'S SECURITY CHARTER HAS BEEN SIGNED

    Europe's Security Charter was signed within the framework of the OSCE conference that was held in Istanbul.

    The Charter provides for the restriction of conventional arms, while it also includes a joint invitation for the consolidation of peace, the creation of common grounds for the solution of problems, the building of confidence measures as well as comments on the human, political, military, economic and environmental dimension of growth. The US president immediately after the signing of the charter called on Russia to implement it.

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