31 August, 2005
VIENNA 31/8/2005 (ANA/V. Dimitrakoudis)
The steadfast stance of Greece that it supports Turkey's efforts for full participation in the European Union, on condition that Ankara fulfills all the criteria and prerequisites which have been set by the EU, was reiterated by Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valinakis to his Austrian counterpart Hans Winkler during a two-hour meeting they had in Vienna on Monday night.
Valinakis noted to Winkler that Turkey, through the unilateral statement it made by signing the Customs Union Protocol, created a series of problems which must be confronted, and furthermore decisively, by the European Union. Valinakis said that it must be made clear that this unilateral statement, in which Ankara says that it does not recognize the Cyprus Republic, cannot create ambiguities as to the meaning and content of the signing by Ankara of the text of the protocol.
The deputy foreign minister underlined that Greece's steadfast position is that the signing must be followed also by the implementation of the protocol.
Valinakis, who met late Monday night with Cypriot Foreign Minister George Iakovou in the Austrian capital, expounded to Winkler the Greek positions regarding the pending issue of the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), explaining that Athens' relations with this country are very good, particularly in the industrial and trade sector.
As stressed by Valinakis, the proposals by United Nations special envoy Matthew Nimetz constitute the basis for an agreement to this serious pending issue, an agreement which must come as soon as possible in light of FYROM's efforts to start accession talks with the EU.
In light of Austria's presidency of the European Union on January 1, 2006, the deputy foreign ministers of Greece and Austria examined all the spectrum of European issues which concern the two countries and the other EU partners.
During "the very friendly and useful talks," as stressed by Valinakis, the two men discussed Europe's future, the course of the European Constitutional Treaty and Europe's fiscal prospects for the 2007-2013 period.
On the issue of Europe's future, the two deputy foreign ministers agreed that it was necessary for the EU to be able to overcome the matters created by the referendums in France and the Netherlands. The Austrian EU presidency will convene a special meeting of heads of state and government to discuss and examine the issue of the ratification of the Constitutional Treaty in the countries which have not yet ratified it.
Source: Athens News Agency