31 October, 2011
Foreign Minister Stavros Lambrinidis was in Washington last week, to attend the Greek community’s WWII celebrations on the occasion of the 71st anniversary of Ohi Day (October 28), marking the country’s entry in the Second World War.
The day before the anniversary, Minister Lambrinidis met with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
. "Greece is asked to summon its courage again, this time the challenge is economic," said Clinton
adding that "[t]he Greek people are making major changes" […] "and the United States applauds Greece’s commitment to fiscal and structural reform".
On his part, Lambrinidis said that these are indeed "Ohi Days" for Greece, stressing that the latest developments are a sign that a "new leaf was turned in Europe", while "hopeful days await Greece, Europe and the United States" the economies and fates of which are, in many ways, tied together.
In statements after meeting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday night, Greek Foreign Minister Stavros Lambrinidis said the talks were "extremely positive" and that Athens and Washington now had a "common approach on many issues".
He said the meeting had allowed him to brief Clinton in depth on the recent decisions taken by European Union leader concerning Greece's debt, stressing that these would give the country breathing space in order to make the necessary changes, and emphasising Washington's contribution to this decision.
The meeting also covered regional issues, such as Turkey and Cyprus and the Balkans, where Lambrinidis thanked Clinton for the steadfast stance of the U.S. with respect to oil drilling by the Cyprus Republic. On the Macedonia name dispute, the minister stressed Athens' concern over a perceived hardening of Skopje's stance on the issue, which showed it did not share Greece's desire to find a solution to the problem.
Regarding the upcoming talks on the Cyprus issue at the United Nations, Lambrinidis said that both sides supported the talks and considered it important that there be a successful outcome.
Source: Athens News Agency