09 October, 2006
Greece on Friday wholeheartedly praised the European Com-mission's decision this past week to give its final approval for the accession of Bulgaria and Romania into the European Union as of Jan. 1, 2007.
Foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos made the announcement during his regular press briefing on Friday.
Regarding additional measures foreseen by the Commission to accelerate reforms in both countries' judicial sectors and to better combat organizing crime, increase flight safety etc., the spokesman said expressed a conviction that the two new EU members will meet their commitments, while stressing that Greece is ready to contribute towards their efforts.
Gul visit: Meanwhile, in an unrelated development, Koumoutsakos said a visit by Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul to Athens will probably come after the second round of local government elections in Greece, namely, after Oct. 22.
He clarified that the visit has already been agreed to by Athens and Ankara, with only an exact date pending.
Finally, asked about Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) vis-à-vis Turkey's European course, he stated:
"This effort (Turkey's adaptation to European standards) passes through the process of CBMs. A series of measures have already been agreed to, and there is volition by both sides to further enhance the series of measures."
Source: Athens News Agency