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14 June, 2002
Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Costas Karamanlis on Sunday addressed an event organized by the Greek expatriate community in Chicago, focusing on Greece's national issues.
He stressed that in handling these matters there cannot be thoughts of partisan politics and adopted as tough position toward Turkey and especially toward its military power structure.
He went on to indirectly criticize the government for its policies, stressing that ND did not agree with the tactics of ''one sided backtracking''.
''The Greek-Turkish dialogue, the issue of the Euroforce, the inter-communal talks in Cyprus, the Convention for the Future of Europe, as well as the upcoming Greek presidency of the European Union demand vigilance and unity of the forces of all Greeks, Partisan expediencies are not allowed,'' he said.
''Partisan flags on nationals issues cannot even be thought of. When (late president) Konstantinos Karamanlis placed Greece in the European family, we had two basic aims, firstly to establish our security and secondly to achieve our real economic and social convergence with our partners. Today these aims have not been accomplished yet. Greece is the only member-state of the Union, which has its borders threatened by its neighbors,'' he stressed.
''Everybody knows that we do not threaten anyone. We want - more than anything else - the immediate resolution of the problem. The resolution of the Cyprus problem should be in accordance to the decisions of the United Nations and the key to this problem is in Ankara,'' Karamanlis underlined.
''In no event, though, can the intransigence of the Turkish side abort or postpone the accession of Cyprus in the European Union, which can and should take place during the course of the Greek presidency of the Union in the spring of 2003,'' he added.
Speaking of Ankara's policies and the problems in bilateral relations he said that ''we do not accept secret commitments and unofficial agreements''.
Addressing the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) and its President Andrew Athens, Karamanlis said that ''the communities of Greeks are the most effective embassies of Greece in 140 countries on five continents of the planet. You make up a second Greece, almost as numerous as that of the motherland. A Greece that honors our traditions, that wages tough battles for the defense of our national issues, that prospers''.
After his visit's end, Karamanlis departed for Washington D.C.
Source: Athens News Agency