© Copyright Embassy of Greece 1996-2005. All Rights Reserved.
15 May, 2002
Greece reiterated on Tuesday that the 13 Palestinians evacuated from the Nativity Church in Bethlehem last week will be hosted in European Union member-states under conditions decided by the Union and not third countries.
The 13 Palestinians are currently being temporarily hosted on Cyprus.
During his regular press briefing, government spokesman Christos Protopapas added that Athens would not extradite any of the 13 Palestinians should they be given asylum in the country, whereas all actions are being taken based on EU decisions.
In an unrelated issue, Protopapas reiterated that Athens will not accept the so-called "Ankara text" in its current form. The "Ankara text" is a compromise worked out earlier in the year by Washington and London with NATO member Turkey to overcome the latter's objections to the alliance's future cooperation with the fledgling "Euro-Army".
Protopapas said the Greek government will exhaust all the means at its disposal in order to make relevant changes to the text if necessary.
Moreover, he stressed that Greece's standing position on the issue of Europe's defense and security is concise, whereas the entire issue is tied to EU-NATO relations and not a bilateral difference.
Finally, asked about ruling PASOK party's upcoming conference, Protopapas said discussions should not revolve around issues highlighting introversion amongst the party's cadres or various scenarios of leadership succession, "which do not help".
Source: Athens News Agency