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19 November, 1997
The need for Greece to display decisiveness and exercise a strong policy was stressed by main opposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis, who delivered a speech at the Pantion University's International Relations Institute yesterday.
The main opposition leader, addressing the issue of "Greek Foreign Policy in the New International Conditions," observed that an impartial or even a Turkish analyst would surely interpret the Greek side's position and messages as "a retreat on all issues, with a feeling of inequality in the two countries' relations".
He said he was opposed to the doctrine "we have no claims", clarifying that "we do not have claims on territorial changes, but we have claims emanating from international law and international treaties".
Further, Mr. Karamanlis admitted that making use of the European Union's right of veto show that the country's foreign policy was weak and ineffective.
Replying to a relevant question, he said the government's policy was erroneously associated with a veto on Turkey's funding from the EU with Ankara's recourse to international arbitration in relation to the Imia issue.
He added that "securing Cyprus' unobstructed admission into the EU was a more attractive alternative rather than using the veto in trying to persuade Turkey take recourse to an International Court".
Finally, in what seemed to be quite a different position than that held by former ND leader Miltiadis Evert, Mr. Karamanlis said that Turkey was not a country that merely "exported" its domestic troubles from time to time.
On the contrary, he argued, "we're dealing with a player in the international system whose attention is permanently focused on attaining anything that only serves its own interests."
Source: Athens News Agency