27 March, 2007
Prime minister Costas Karamanlis met Monday with foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis, who briefed the premier on the outcome of her US visit last week.
Bakoyannis, who met with UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon in New York and with US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice and other high ranking US government officials and members of Congress in Washington, told reporters after the meeting that "the visit was productive, given that for three days the Greek positions were projected and advanced".
Replying to questions, she said that the Greek positions were "accepted with understanding", and referred to the public statements made by the UN and US officials after their meetings.
Asked whether active support is also expected, in addition to the verbal support, Bakoyannis replied that "Of course, no one wants 'certification' of the Greekness of our islands. What is important is that Aghios Stratis is not considered a demilitarised island, and this is of particular importance for the decisions taken by NATO, due to the special weight the US has in NATO".
To another question regarding the Greek research vessel on which a Turkish scientist will also be aboard, Bakoyannis noted that "there are always research vessels, and scientific work is always being carried ou, in which scientists from European countries, whether Greeks, Turks or others, take part".
This, she continued, had nothing to do whatsoever with Greece's sovereign rights.
Replying to another question on whether Turkish foreign minister Abdullah Gul was coming to Athens, Bakoyannis said that "as soon as I have news, I will tell you".
A visit by Gul to Athens is outstanding, and a mutually convenient date is being sought through diplomatic channels.
Source: Athens News Agency