17 May, 2008
Foreign Ministry Spokesman George Koumoutsakos briefed on Friday Chinese journalists on the progress of Greece-China relations, the "harmonious and fruitful" cooperation of the two countries in international organisations as well as on Greece's foreign policy basic lines.
The thirteen journalists are visiting Greece at the invitation of the Minister of State and government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos.
Koumoutsakos referred to the policy of principles based on the decisions and the UN resolutions, which China follows on the Cyprus issue, and reiterated Greece's policy in favor of One China.
The spokesman expounded on Greece's geopolitical advantages for attracting business activities and tourists, saying that "it is a gate to a multimillion consumers' market, as well as a historic and beautiful country."
As regards the Cyprus issue, Koumoutsakos stressed the need for good preparation at the level of the Working Groups and the Technical Committees with the aim to achieve the necessary progress before the commencement of direct talks between President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, towards finding a solution to the political issue.
Koumoutsakos stressed that the Greek government supports the will of President Demetris Christofias in the new effort to reach a Cyprus settlement.
Cyprus, an EU member state since May 2004, has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third.
Regarding relations with neighbouring Turkey, the spokesman said that despite the fact that the climate has clearly improved, nevertheless problems emanating from Turkish claims still remained. Greece, he added, supports Turkey's EU prospects on the condition it abides by the prerequisites set by by the Union.
Referring to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Koumoutsakos said Greece supported the neighbouring country's European prospects but that a problem still existed due to FYROM's attempt to usurp the name of a geographical region which belongs to three countries.
Source: Athens News Agency