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03 March, 2001
Foreign Minister George Papandreou will start a two-day official visit to Vienna, Austria, on Sunday and is expected to discuss possibilities of improving Greek-Austrian relations, already considered excellent, the Cyprus issue and the future accession of Cyprus to the European Union, Greek-Turkish relations, developments in the Balkans and EU enlargement during his talks in the country.
Apart from talks with his Austrian counterpart Benita Ferero - Waldner, Papandreou will be meeting Austrian President Thomas Klestil, Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel, Parliament President Heinz Fischer and main opposition Social democrat Party leader Alfred Gusenbauer.
Papandreou will also visit the Metropolitan of Austria and Exarch of Hungary and Central Europe Michael and meet members of the century-old Greek community in Vienna at a special reception to be given by Waldner, who will accompany him to the famous Vienna State Opera to see the performance of "Ariadne in Naxos"
Papandreou's visit is the first official bilateral contact between a member of the Greek government with the Austrian political and state leadership, following the coming to power of the new Austrian coalition government formed by the conservative People's Party and the far-right and nationalist Freedom Party on February 4 last year. The visit also coincides with the assumption of duties by the new Austrian Ambassador to Athens Rene Polizer, who has also served as director of former Austrian Chancellor Viktor Klima's diplomatic office.
Source: Athens News Agency