27 February, 2006
Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis outlined her forthcoming initiatives in the coming period, including a meeting in Athens with her Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul, a meeting with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, a visit to Nicosia as well as to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).
The foreign minister said that immediately after her participation in the European Union's Council of General Affairs, she will begin a tour of the Balkans with visits to Sarajevo, Pristina and Belgrade, while she will also be visiting Skopje, Sofia and Bucharest in the near future.
Referring to FYROM's position on the ‘name issue’, Bakoyannis said "insistence on the absolute refusal of any mutually acceptable solution on their part is a political mistake. Skopje must seek, just like Athens, a mutually acceptable solution."
Bakoyannis pointed out that the country's foreign policy will not change, while referring to Greek-Turkish relations, she said Greek interests are served by a “European Turkey”.
Commenting on her Turkish counterpart's visit to Athens, she said Greece's support for Turkey's European prospects is clear but "it is not unconditional and terms have already been set both by us and the rest of our partners."
Asked what the Greek government will do if Turkey has not fulfilled criteria set for it by the EU by the end of the year, Regarding efforts to solve the issue of Cyprus, the foreign minister said "we cannot stand another failure", adding that "whatever is prepared must be a plan of such a kind that both communities will accept it. There can be no solutions without the knowledge of the people."
Bakoyannis also said in her interview that she had never asked for the foreign ministry, given to her in the recent government reshuffle, and pointed out that the government is also a victim of the phone-tapping issue.
Bakoyannis’ comments were carried in an interview with the Sunday edition of the newspaper "Vima”.