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17 March, 2000
Athens, Greece and Paris, France came closer together on Thursday as Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos and Paris Mayor Jean Tiberi signed a friendship and cooperation protocol.
"The importance of signing (this protocol) is especially great, if we take into account that the two capital cities have two points in common, culture and history, which we are obliged to protect," Tiberi said. "In parallel with the protection of our heritage, we should adopt our cities to the modern world, securing a quality of life in the sectors that are of concern today, that is the environment, security, social solidarity. These are problems, which we confront with the same spirit," he said, adding, "the signing of the protocol will contribute to the strengthening of bonds and greater cooperation between the two cities".
Paris is a candidate city for the 2008 Olympic Games. In this light Tiberi noted that he was planning to visit Athens in order to learn of the Greek experience in successfully biding for the 2004 Games. On his part, Avramopoulos stressed that the importance of signing the protocol is only equaled by the fact that it was signed during the summit of the mayors from around the world.
"The mayors of the most important cities are expected to exchange opinions, experiences and delineate common policies for the future of cities, as well as on ways to confront the internal problems of local societies, by solutions based on new developments, which have been created on a social and cultural level," Avramopoulos said.
"This is an important initiative Paris undertook, on which Greece was informed a year ago, and for this reason we had a particularly active presence," he concluded.
Source: Athens News Agency