|Wednesday, 20 November 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 05-04-13
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 CONFIDENCE BUILDING STEPSAthens, 13 April 2005 (13:12 UTC+2)
The establishment of direct communication between the Air Force staffs of the two countries to avert undesirable incidents in the Aegean was decided in Ankara yesterday by Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis and his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul.
In the meeting it was affirmed that there is mutual will to continue bilateral cooperation and dialogue aimed at further improving the Greek-Turkish relations.
Mr. Molyviatis stressed that the improvement of bilateral relations should be reflected in certain activities in the Aegean, which have a negative effect on the atmosphere between Greece and Turkey. On his part, Mr. Gul gave the assurance that the confidence building measures decided will have the support of the Turkish military authorities as well.
Meanwhile, the Turkish patrol boat left the region of the islet of Imia in southeastern Aegean after a presence of 26 hours in the region. Yesterday, Turkish fighter jets flew over the central Aegean island of Andros.
Greek Foreign Minister Molyviatis continues his formal visit to Turkey and is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
 GREECE LAUNCHED AN INFORMATION CAMPAIGN ON THE FYROM NAMEAthens, 13 April 2005 (13:34 UTC+2)
Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valinakis will visit European capitals to brief the Europeans on the Greek positions regarding the name under which FYROM will be recognized.
The UN mediator Matthew Nimetz proposal constitutes a basis for negotiation but not a final solution clarified yesterday acting government spokesman Vangelis Antonaros.
The hope that Athens and Skopje will soon reach an agreement expressed EU High Representative for the CFSP Javier Solana after the meeting he had with the FYROM Prime Minister in Brussels.
Yesterday, the Foreign Minister of FYROM stated that there is no formal Nimetz proposal.
The Pan-Macedonian Association of America disagrees with the proposal.
 THE ACTING GOV'T SPOKESMAN ON THE LETTERS BY PRIME MINISTER KARAMANLISAthens, 13 April 2005 (17:47 UTC+2)
Acting government spokesman Vangelis Antonaros presented parts of the letters on the UN mediator Matthew Nimetz proposals regarding the FYROM name issue which were addressed by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis to the US President, the European Council President, the European Commission President, the German Chancellor and the NATO secretary-general.
Mr. Antonaros stated that the expression good compromise is not mentioned in the letters and responding to a relevant question he said that the government sends letters and holds talks not always under the mass media spotlight.
Regarding the letter by UN mediator Nimetz, he said that it is a package of ideas and constitutes a basis for negotiation for the Greek government.
In the Prime Minister's letter it is mentioned, among others, that for the first time since the signing of the interim agreement on September 13, 1995 Mr. Nimetz has submitted a proposal in the form of a comprehensive UN Security Council resolution plan for the final settlement of this pending issue.
The name proposed by the UN mediator is Republika Makedonija-Skopje untranslated. This name will be used formally within the UN framework while the proposal suggests to international organizations and countries to adopt the mentioned-above name for formal international use.
The constitutional name Republika Makedonija will continue to be used inside FYROM which means that no constitutional change is necessary that could have negative side-effects on the 2001 Ochrid agreement.
Mr. Karamanlis stresses in his letter that this proposal does not fully satisfy the Greek positions but it could be accepted as a basis for negotiation, stressing that for 15 years certain elements prevented a solution to be reached. He stressed that he is ready to support this effort and Greece would be ready to enter this final phase of negotiations with a positive and constructive stance in order to reach a mutually acceptable solution. The Prime Minister also mentions that this will allow the total normalization of bilateral relations and contribute in a decisive manner to the stabilization of the whole region lifting a major obstacle on FYROM's way to becoming a part of the Euro-Atlantic structures.
Prime Minister Karamanlis concludes that this proposal offers to both sides a unique window of opportunity that will contribute to the region's further stabilization.
 THE ACTING GOV'T SPOKESMAN ON THE DEVELOPMENTS IN THE AEGEANAthens, 13 April 2005 (17:00 UTC+2)
The Greek government watched closely and continuously developments in the Aegean on the occasion of yesterday's incident in the islets of Imia, southeastern Aegean, involving two Turkish patrol boats, stated acting government spokesman Vangelis Antonaros.
Mr. Antonaros stated that the Greek government made all necessary moves and took all necessary measures to protect the Greek sovereign interests in the Aegean and defuse tension.
Mr. Antonaros stated that Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis, who is on a formal visit to Ankara, made everything possible to protect the national interests and stressed that diplomacy does not take place publicly. He added, however, that such actions do not help in the improvement of bilateral relations while regarding Turkey's behavior he reiterated that it will undergo an overall evaluation by the EU by October adding that the EU is briefed constantly.
The acting government spokesman stressed that Greece regards the region of Imia as a region of national sovereignty, while responding to the question if the presence of the Turkish patrol boat constitutes an invasion he said that everybody has the right to use the words they want in order to create an impression. He added that the Turkish actions yesterday disputed Greece's sovereign rights, stressing that in life there are more colors and not just black and white.
Mr. Antonaros gave a negative response to the question if the Greek government considers limiting the national airspace to 6 miles.
Regarding the telephone communication line between Larissa and Eskisehir decided in Ankara, he said that it is being created to avert a further escalation of situations that could turn dangerous. He added that Greece will continue to follow its firm policy namely, all Turkish aircraft flying without submitting a flight plan will be identified and intercepted by Greek aircraft.
 THE METROPOLITAN BISHOP OF ATTIKI FACES FELONY CHARGESAthens, 13 April 2005 (15:13 UTC+2)
An Athens prosecutor issued an indictment on felony charges against Metropolitan Bishop Panteleimon of Attiki accused of legalizing revenues coming from criminal activity.
For the record, Metropolitan Bishop Panteleimon, who has been suspended from his duties for six months, is already facing a court trial accused of embezzling about 100 million drachmas from a monastery in Nea Makri, Attiki.
 CLARIFICATIONS BY THE DEFENSE MINISTRY ON THE MOLYVIATIS-GUL MEETINGAthens, 13 April 2005 (14:01 UTC+2)
Greek Ministry of Defense spokesman Stefanos Gikas referred to the presence of the Turkish patrol boat in the sea region of the islets of Imia, southeastern Aegean.
Mr. Gikas also referred to the agreement reached yesterday by Foreign Ministers of Greece and Turkey, Petros Molyviatis and Abdullah Gul respectively, for a direct communication line between the NATO Combined Air Operations Centers of Larissa in Greece and Eskisehir in Turkey. He stated that Greece's position is clear and all aircraft violating the Greek airspace will be intercepted.
The Greek Ministry of Defense spokesman stated characteristically that a direct telephone communication line aims at averting the further escalation of a situation that could evolve into a risky one.
He stated that Greece's position on the issue is clear. All aircraft entering the Athens FIR without first submitting flight plans in accordance with international air traffic regulations will be identified and in case they violate the Greek national airspace will be intercepted by Greek Air Force aircraft.
 MOLYVIATIS-ERDOGAN MEETINGAnkara, 13 April 2005 (19:13 UTC+2)
The meeting of Greek Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan took place in a warm atmosphere in Ankara today.
They discussed all developments concerning bilateral relations and the preparations for the visit of Prime Minister Karamanlis to Turkey, which is expected to take place soon after an invitation by Mr. Erdogan.
Mr. Molyviatis characterized his visit to Turkey as one more action that contributes to the improvement of the Greek-Turkish relations.
The Foreign Minister also met today with the President and the members of the Turkish National Assembly Foreign Affairs Committee as well as the National Security Council General Secretary.
Mr. Molyviatis also met with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Istanbul earlier this afternoon.