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25 January, 2003
The Cyprus issue and the blueprint for a Cyprus solution proposed by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan were among the issues that occupied his meeting with visiting Norwegian premier Kjell Magne Bondevik, Prime Minister Costas Simitis said on Friday. Norway was among those countries that supported the Annan plan, he added.
Emerging from the meeting, Simitis also referred to his talks with UN envoy for Cyprus Alvaro de Soto and stressed that he had not discussed the tactics that the UN planned to follow on the Cyprus issue.
''It is my personal opinion, however, that pressures on the two sides to accept the Annan plan with marginal modifications will increase as the days go by,'' he said.
In any event, Greece had to be ready to show the international community that it steadily supported a functional, viable solution to the Cyprus problem, Simitis added.
The premier described his meeting with Bondevik as ''good and friendly'' and said it had mainly focused on bilateral issues and matters pertaining to the EU, on account of Greece holding the EU presidency.
Economic and political relations with Norway were very good and the two countries had two of the largest commercial fleets in the world, Simitis said, while they also shared concerns over the protection of the marine environment and over organizing world transportation in the framework of international organizations.
The Greek premier clarified that Norway had a unique relationship with the EU since it was not an EU-member but participated in the economic sector. He said that Norway had proposed the signing of an agreement between the members of the European Economic Forum and the European Union on April 16 in Athens.
Bondevik said that this was his first visit to Greece and noting the close cooperation between Greece and Norway, while describing his talks and contacts on European issues as useful.
Source: Athens News Agency