16 February, 2007
A solution for the future status of Kosovo must be mutually acceptable to both sides and in accordance with international rules and the UN charter, President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias said in Bucharest on Thursday.
He underlined that the international community should allow "as much time as necessary" in order to achieve this.
Papoulias made the statement after a meeting with Romanian President Traian Basescu on the second day of an official visit to Romania.
Apart from Kosovo, the two men also discussed the Cyprus issue and Turkey's relations with the EU, with the Romanian president expressing positions that were positively received in Athens.
In response to questions on Turkey's EU prospects, Basescu stressed that Turkey must be able to expect that accession negotiations will lead to full membership at the end of the line, provided that it fully complied with all EU criteria.
"I am convinced that the EU must respect its commitments to Turkey and that accession negotiations with Turkey should continue. And Turkey will be able to become a member of the EU when it fulfills all the criteria, including those that concern its relations with an EU member-state, such as Cyprus," he said.
Basescu stressed that it was "inconceivable" for an EU member-state to restrict access to its national ports to vessels belonging to another member-state, as Turkey had refused access to its ports and airports for Cypriot ships and planes.
The two presidents also noted the need to complete EU integration for the Balkans, since the rest of southeastern European states remained outside the EU, and agreed that Bucharest and Athens should coordinate their efforts for the accession of the western Balkans to the Community.
According to Papoulias, he and Basescu had agreed that the EU should attempt to reach out to Serbia, in particular, giving it hope that the road to EU accession was open to it.
In talks on bilateral relations, Papoulias said that these were excellent, friendly and improving on all levels. He stressed that the Greek business presence and Greek investments in Romania were significant, adding that they had agreed to try and double the volume of transactions between the two countries. "We saw that it was feasible," he said.
Congratulating Romania on joining the EU on January 1, meanwhile, the Greek president also reiterated his earlier statements regarding the creation of a "nucleus" of Balkan states within the EU after Romania and Bulgaria joined the Community.
EU-related issues, such as the German EU presidency's efforts to promote the European Constitution Treaty and environ-mental protection rules, were also covered in the Papoulias-Basescu meeting.
The Greek president arrived in Romania on a three-day official visit accompanied by Macedonia-Thrace Minister George Kalantzis, Deputy Finance Minister Petros Doukas and Deputy Development Minister Tassos Nerantzis.
After meeting Basescu, Papoulias met Romanian Parliament President Bogdan Olteanu and the head of the Romania's main opposition Social Democratic Party Mircea Geoana.
Source: Athens News Agency