15 September, 2005
Greece's Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis had a 20-minute meeting with UN secretary general Kofi Annan early Wednesday (Greek time), immediately after his arrival in New York for the United Nations General Assembly world summit.
After the meeting, Karamanlis told reporters that the purpose of the world summit that would open Wednesday at the UN, whith the participation of 170 heads of state and government, was to assess and review the implementation of the UN Millennium Declaration that was adopted in 2000 as well as a number of issues relating to the reform of the UN.
Greece, he noted, was a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the two-year term 2005-2006, and consequently he would also be taking part in the Security Council summit meeting, taking place in tandem with the General
Assembly world summit, which was due to deal with combatting terrorism and with conflict prevention in Africa.
Karamanlis said that he and Annan exchanged views on the Cyprus issue, the FYROM name issue, and on matters related to the UN reform.
The Greek premier was also due to attend a reception later hosted by US president George Bush in honor of the heads of state and government attending the UN General Assembly world summit, which Karamanlis is due to address on Friday.
Karamanlis is scheduled to hold sideline meetings with a number of world leaders on Wednesday and Thursday, while on Thursday he will also attend a round-table discussion on UN reforms, and a summit meeting of the Francophone countries.
The Greek premier was also scheduled to meet with American journalists and give interviews on several US TV networks, including CNN and PBS.
According to diplomatic sources, the UN chief appeared to understand the Greek position regarding the FYROM name issue.
The sources said that Karamanlis told Annan that he welcomed UN special mediator on the FYROM name issue Matthew Nimetz's initiative for the resumption of UN-brokered talks between Greece and FYROM aimed at finding a mutually acceptable name, which would contribute to the consolidation of stability in the region and substantially help in further boosting relations between the two neighboring countries.
On the Cyprus issue, the same sources said that Karamanlis expressed his appreciation for the UN chief's personal involvement, and reiterated his support for Annan's efforts, at the same time adding that any new initiative would have to be carefully prepared so as to avoid a new failure, with the aim of reaching a comprehensive solution to the problem and reunification of the island republic.
A UN announcement said that the Greek premier and the UN secretary general had discussed Cyprus, the FYROM name issue, Kosovo, and UN reform, adding that, on the issue of Cyprus, Annan had assured Karamanlis that the secretary general's good offices remained at the disposition of the two sides.
Source: Athens News Agency