|Thursday, 14 November 2019|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 99-03-11
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <ert.ntua.gr/>
Today's ERA News OnlineThursday, March 11th, 1999
 Prospects of a hostile incident in the Aegean refutedThe Greek national defence ministry issued a statement late last night denying that there was a climate of increased tension in the Aegean or that additional measures had been taken in the Greek armed forces.
In a speech delivered in New York, the US ambassador to Greece, Nicholas Burns, said he did not think there would be a confrontation between Greece and Turkey over the Ocalan affair. He said accusations against Greece concerning an alleged leak of NATO secrets to the Russians were groundless.
 US Cyprus envoy in Athens for talksGreek-Turkish relations and the Ocalan case are expected to be the focus of talks which the visiting State Department coordinator in the Cyprus issue, Thomas Miller, will have in Athens today.
Mr Miller visited Cyprus yesterday, after his trip to Turkey, and according to press reports he expressed surprise over the stands which the Turkish prime minister, Bulent Ecevit, had formulated on the Cyprus issue.
 Greek and Bulgarian initiatives in the Kosovo crisisAthens and Skopje hold identical views with regard to the way the crisis in Kosovo should be resolved. This fact emerged from the contacts which the Greek foreign minister, Giorgos Papandreou, had in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia yesterday within the framework of a Greek initiative aimed at promoting a peaceful settlement of the problem. Today Mr Papandreou will visit Bucharest, Sofia and Belgrade.
Meanwhile the Greek foreign minister and his Bulgarian counterpart, Nadezda Michailova, have announced that Greece and Bulgaria will undertake a joint initiative to organise a meeting of Balkan foreign ministers before the next round of Kosovo peace talks at Rambouillet, in France.
 US ambassador in Nicosia speaks out on Cyprus disputeThe American ambassador in Nicosia, Kenneth Brill, said yesterday that the United States was working hard for a settlement of the Cyprus dispute.
Addressing an event organised by the Cypriot-American Association, Mr Brill said his country had been interested in a Cyprus solution since the 1960s and would continue to work towards this because, as he said, the United States had major interests in the region alongside its NATO partners, as well as deep feelings for Cyprus. He added that the Cypriot people themselves should help with the solution of their problems.
 New Democracy leader continues contacts in WashingtonThe opposition New Democracy party leader, Kostas Karamanlis, is having a meeting today with the American vice-president, Al Gore, thus completing his official contacts in Washington.
Yesterday, Mr Karamanlis met with the White House chief of staff, John Podesta - a close aide of the American president, Bill Clinton - with whom he discussed Greek-Turkish relations and the Cyprus issue.
 Greek-Armenian talks on bilateral cooperationThe alternate foreign minister, Iannos Kranidiotis, had a meeting yesterday with the Armenian foreign undersecretary, Vartan Oskanian.
During the meeting the two officials confirmed the excellent relations that existed between Greece and Armenia. Their talks focused on bilateral relations, developments in Kosovo, the question of Nagorno-Karabach and cooperation between Greece and Armenia within the framework of the Organisation for Cooperation amongst Black Sea countries, as Greece will assume the presidency of the Organisation on 1st May.
 Fears expressed regarding health of PKK leaderRome has called on Ankara to allow the Italian lawyers representing the Kurdish leader, Abdullah Ocalan, to visit their client on the prison-island of Imrali in the wake of reports of a deterioration in his health.
In an interview with a Catholic newspaper, one of Mr Ocalan's lawyers has expressed concern that an attempt might be made to kill the PKK leader and present his death as suicide.
Meanwhile, in Athens, the report on the Ocalan affair by the three public prosecutors who carried out an urgent preliminary investigation into the case will probably be
According to information, the report attributes criminal responsibilities to five non-political figures involved in Mr Ocalan's illegal entry to and stay in Greece. However, the proposal to set up a committee of inquiry to establish whether blame rests with any political figures will be debated in parliament tomorrow.
 Cyprus official in Athens for forum on Cypriot entry to EUThe head of Cyprus' negotiating team for the island's entry to the EU, Giorgos Vasiliou, arrives in Athens today at the invitation of the Greek foreign ministry, to take part in a forum on the benefits to be derived from Cyprus' entry to the EU, which opens tomorrow.
Mr Vasiliou will deliver a speech on the course of Cyprus' negotiations for accession to the EU.
 EU agriculture ministers to agree on CAPAt their meeting in Brussels today, EU agriculture ministers are expected to reach a broad agreement for sweeping revision of the EU's common agricultural policy.
 Work on Egnatia Highway progressing wellThe environment minister, Kostas Laliotis, announced yesterday that 500 of the total 680 kms of the Egnatia Highway will have been completed by the end of 2001.
 Reforestation funds to be raised by Canadian GreeksA fund-raising concert for the reforestation of Greece will be held in Montreal, Canada on 12th April. The concert has been organised by the University of Montreal, the Greek chamber of commerce in Montreal, the AHEPA organisation and the Greek consulate in Montreal.
 Onassis Foundation to fight loss of trusteeshipThe Onassis Foundation has said it is preparing to contest a Swiss court decision to transfer trusteeship of the fortune of Athina Onassis to a private audit firm in Lucerne. The decision takes control of the fortune of the late shipping magnate, Aristotle Onassis, away from the 5-member council appointed by Athina's mother, Christina.