24 May, 2004
Greece is eager to see Iraqis establish their own democracy, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis told US television on Sunday.
"We believe that the process should be pursued as far as possible of a transfer of power, so that full democratization can be accomplished as soon as possible, a full transfer of power to the Iraqi people," Karamanlis said in an interview to PBS ‘Newshour’ program.
"Of course we're all sharing the burden, and we all have a share of the responsibility of contributing to the reconstruction of Iraq. In our opinion, the best-case scenario would be for this to happen under the aegis, the umbrella, of the United Nations, as this would allow the greatest legitimization of the process," the prime minister said.
Asked whether Greece's policy on Iraq would change now that the New Democracy party was in power, the premier replied: "In foreign policy at least we have succeeded in not having major party clashes. Basically, in foreign policy, we have followed a joint strategy. Which doesn't mean we don't have minor disagreements in tactics. But we do have the same basic perception, which has not changed in the Iraq issue either."
Karamanlis added that he had heard President Bush's views on Iraq during talks in Washington with the US leader last week.
In an interview to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, the prime minister was asked whether he would support immediate NATO intervention in Iraq similar to that in Afghanistan.
"We want to see the swiftest possible process for a transfer of power, for the democratization and reconstruction of Iraq. What we support above all is every endeavor that, as far as possible, is brought under the aegis of the United Nations," Karamanlis said.
"Now if this happens, we are open to discussion on the steps to follow," he added.
Source: Athens News Agency