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18 April, 2002
Foreign Minister George Papandreou on Wednesday met with his Ukrainian counterpart Anatoliy Zlenko in Athens and discussed ways to develop the economic relations between the two countries.
The two men also discussed the efforts of the Ukraine to enter the Euro-Atlantic structures, efforts, which Greece supports.
Papandreou said that they discussed with Zlenko the major regional issues, Black Sea cooperation issues, conditions in the Balkans and developments in the Middle East, which as the Greek minister said ''is very current and a subject we both have concerns and common positions''.
The two ministers also discussed Greek-Turkish relations and the Cyprus problem.
Zlenko invited Prime Minister Costas Simitis to visit the Ukraine, a visit that will take place between July 2-3, while he announced that the Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma will visit Athens in September.
Papandreou and Zlenko also discussed the issue of the social protection of the Ukrainians that live and work in Greece. ''We look forward to the inclusion of the Ukrainian immigrants in Greek society, as a significant contribution to the enrichment of our society and of course we appreciate their contribution to the Greek economy,'' Papandreou said.
Speaking on the Palestinian problem, the Greek minister stressed that ''we support the immediate implementation of the Security Council decision 1402, as well as the Madrid text of the 'four', that is of the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and Russia, and within this framework we consider necessary the immediate withdrawal of the Israeli military forces, from the Palestinian regions, the conclusion of a truce, the end of suicide bombings and the formulation of an immediate framework of security between the two sides, based on the Tenet and Mitchell proposals''.
''We support the necessity for a clear political prospect for the establishment of a Palestinian state and we support Colin Powell's efforts this moment, within the framework of our decisions in Madrid,'' Papandreou added.
He also announced that there was cooperation between Greek NGOs and Palestinians regarding a proposal to ''twin'' hospitals in Greece and the Palestinian territories, aiming to reconstitute the first aid and hospital care in the region.
Source: Athens News Agency