29 May, 2003
Prime Minister Costas Simitis said on Wednesday Greece intends to help Canada in its bid for investments in Balkan countries, adding that it looks forward to closer cooperation on economic and trade issues. Simitis held talks with his Canadian counterpart Jean Chretien, who is visiting Athens as of Tuesday in the framework of the summit with the European Union. Chretien extended an official invitation to Simitis to visit Canada. Talks between the two prime ministers focused on the Balkans, and the sensitive region of Kosovo in particular, prospects for Cyprus and relations between Greece and Turkey.
PM says Greece will help Canada in bid for investments in Balkan countries: The talks, which took place at the Maximos Mansion, were also attended by the foreign ministers of Canada and Greece, Bill Graham and George Papandreou respectively.
Simitis said in statements afterwards that Canada's participation with peacekeeping forces in the region of Kosovo gives the country direct involvement in developments.
The Greek prime minister said bilateral relations between Greece and Canada are excellent and there are strong feelings of friendship for the country hosting a big community of Greeks, helping it to become incorporated and to develop.
He added that Canada should constitute a model for the European Union on the issue of the incorporation of immigrants who are currently increasing in number in Europe.
The Canadian prime minister said the situation in the Balkans was discussed at length since he wanted to have a clear picture of the region from the Greek authorities.
He placed emphasis on the fact that there is a big Greek community in his country and so he feels particularly close to Greece.
Source: Athens News Agency