10 November, 2005
Foreign Ministry Spokesman George Koumoutsakos, commenting on Wednesday on the European Commission's reports regarding Turkey and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) said "the issues of Greek and Cypriot concern are covered in a very satisfactory way, while special mention is made for the first time in an official document of the EU to the issue of casus belli (threat of war)", adding that "it is a success which came as a result of a continuous and systematic diplomatic effort. A silent but effective one."
The spokesman further said that "the same goes for the European Commission's opinion on FYROM, in which Greek pursuits are incorporated."
The announcement issued by the foreign ministry on these reports, titled "Progress report and revised partnership relation for Turkey" and "Opinion on FYROM", stresses that Turkey's relations of "good neighbourliness" with Greece are now becoming a "clear criterion for the progress of its accession course."
The same also applies with regard to "the issues of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and protection of minorities and of their property. And, of course, to the issue of the Halki School of Theology."
It was further noted in the announcement that "for the first time, indeed in an official EU document, special mention is made of the issue of 'casus belli'. A fact of evident importance." Turkey is also called on to handle whatever sources of friction with its neighbours, abstaining from relevant actions.
The foreign ministry's announcement said with regard to Cyprus that "it is stressed that the recognition of all EU member-states by Turkey constitutes a necessary element of its accession effort", adding that "it is also pointed out that the implementation of the Customs Union Protocol also constitutes a commitment and a criterion" and that "Turkey's full compliance will constitute, in 2006, an object of assiduous and continuous monitoring by the European Union."
The foreign ministry's announcement also said that "Greece, once again, wishes to stress that the successful outcome of these efforts by the neighbouring country will benefit the region and Greek-Turkish relations, as well as the Turkish people. We support this prospect."
The announcement went on to say that "as regards the European pursuits of Skopje (FYROM), the European Commission's opinion makes it absolutely clear that this long course is continuing under the name of 'Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia'," adding that the European Commis-sion stresses that "the neighbouring country must cooperate in the effort to find a mutually acceptable solution to the issue of the name" and that "this issue now constitutes a political criterion."
It was also stressed in the announcement that "this has always been the Greek position as well" and it concluded by saying that "we remain firm on it, having proved our constructive disposition. Only with the achievement of a mutually acceptable solution will the further improvement of bilateral relations and regional stability, as well as the European prospect of our neighbouring country be facilitated."
Source: Athens News Agency