06 June, 2006
President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias had a brief meeting on Monday with Governor-General of New Zealand Silvia Cartwright, who is on an official visit to Greece accompanied by her husband. The meeting was held at the Presidential Mansion in the presence of the spouses of the two leaders.
President Papoulias told reporters after the meeting that he outlined Greece’s views on European and world problems as well as on the Cyprus problem, a problem that concerns the European Union, the Commonwealth and the international community and which it was imperative that it be resolved based on the European principles.
President Papoulias also referred to the excellent relations shared by the two countries and their common struggle against Nazism, through which they forged strong friendship ties.
The memory of the Battle of Crete that took place with the participation of New Zealanders is still vivid and serves as a “reference point”, stated President Papoulias, on the occasion of the recent celebrations commemorating the event and the visit of Dame Cartwright to Crete before arriving in Athens.
Papoulias referred to the important role the dynamic Greek community in New Zealand plays in the country’s economic and cultural scene. He also referred to New Zealand’s develop-mental contribution to the Pacific region and praised its innovative stance toward the environment on the occasion of the World Environment Day celebrated the same day.
The New Zealand Governor-General stated that the talks they had were very pleasant and spoke about the bonds of friendship shared by the two peoples, using warm words.
Dame Cartwright also referred to the year-long "live and work" youth exchange program being examined by the two sides, which expected to contribute to the strengthening of bilateral friendship ties.
Referring to relations with the EU, the Governor-General of New Zealand stressed that she appreciates Greece’s stance.
President Papoulias hosts dinner for governor-general of New Zealand: President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Monday stressed the need for the issue of Cyprus to be resolved in accordance with European principles, linking the problem to the enlargement of the European Union and the obligation of candidate countries to fully adopt the EU's principles.
Addressing the Governor-General of New Zealand Dame Silvia Cartwright during an official dinner held at the Presidential Palace, President Papoulias referred to Greece's role as an EU member-state and at the same time a Mediterranean and Balkan country which was contributing to the handling of the region's problems, while at the same time warning of the risk of these problems leading to destabilization unless they are solved peacefully.
"We believe that Europe will only lose from exclusions, but also that the duty of candidate countries is the full adoption of the principles of the EU," President Papoulias noted, adding that "in this framework we believe that the time has come to solve an anachronism which does not honor the EU, the Commonwealth and the world community: The issue of Cyprus is a European problem and requires a solution in accordance with European principles."
Lastly, President Papoulias stressed that "the prolongation of partition and every anti-European solution offend the democratic character of the EU and harm its deeper values."
Source: Athens News Agency