30 May, 2006
Greece's Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valinakis began here since Monday morning consultations regarding the European Union's course, the tackling of the problem of the European Constitution during the next EU presidencies and the prospects of the EU's enlargement to the countries of the Western Balkans, as well as towards Turkey.
In a statement to public NET television station, Valinakis summed up the contents of a meeting he had with German Deputy Foreign Minister Guenther Gloser.
Valinakis said that on the issue of the "Euroconstitution", the Greek side "supports the continuation of the process of the ratifications by the EU member-states" despite the "No" in the referendums of France and The Netherlands.
On the further enlargement of the EU, the Greek deputy foreign minister said "deepening and enlargement, are the two sides of the same coin," adding that "the aim of the Greek government is for the broader region of the Western Balkans to be converted into a 'European family'."
Regarding Turkey, Valinakis said he briefed his interlocutors on the recent "unpleasant developments" in the Aegean, but reiterated that "our support to Turkey is steadfast and a given fact, providing that Turkey is aware that it must proceed in the right direction. He added that "our support has to do with a framework of principles and specific conditions which have been set in the European texts and in which Turkey must adjust in order for there to be further progress."
On the Cyprus issue, Valinakis referred to "all the spectrum of the obligations which Turkey has assumed for steps which it must take towards the recognition of the Republic of Cyprus" and which constitute "the known prerequisites which have been set by the European Union." He added:” Naturally, it is our position that all these must be respected by Turkey, if it wishes to proceed in its course towards the EU."
Source: Athens News Agency