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27 March, 2002
Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Magriotis said here on Monday evening that ''Greece works steadily for security and peace in the region, southeast Europe, the Middle East and the eastern Mediterranean. And this has been recognized by the European Union, the international community but also by the United States.''
Magriotis was commenting on a speech by U.S. President George W. Bush at the White House earlier on Monday at an event marking Greece's National Independence Day in which he referred to the role of Greece and to his satisfaction over the resumption of the direct talks between Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and on the improvement of Greek-Turkish relations.
The Greek deputy foreign minister said that ''the responsibility for a just and viable solution to the Cyprus issue lies with Ankara.''
Deputy FM Magriotis meets State Department Assistant Secretary Jones:
The cooperation of the United States with Greece but also with the European Union in general in the Balkans, Black Sea and the Caucasus was at the center of talks which Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Magriotis had at the State Department on Tuesday with Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Elizabeth Jones.
Following the meeting, Magriotis said they examined issues such as inter-border cooperation and the combatting of corruption and organized crime, which he said was a priority for the Greek government.
''I conveyed to Mrs. Jones and to the American government our intention to include in the agenda of the Greek EU presidency in the first half of 2003 the confrontation of corruption and the eradication of organized crime, issues which concern us intensely,'' Magriotis said.
He added that during the Greek EU presidency, meetings will be held by businessmen and scientists from EU countries and those of the Caucasus, the governments of which are showing great interest for closer contacts with Europe.
The State Department Assistant Secretary may visit Athens in April to discuss in depth these issues and in general the priorities of the Greek presidency.
Source: Athens News Agency