18 September, 2006
Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valinakis, speaking in an interview with the Greek community newspaper "Ethnikos Kyrikas" (National Herald) over the weekend, said that "it is a mistake if Turkey is facing the European Union with bazaar terms, particularly oriental ones."
Valinakis also said that "Greece has encouraged with sincerity the European adjustment of Turkey. And this is a strategic option and not a 'circumstantial suit'.
But, from the very beginning, we declared that our target is the European transformation of the neighboring country. This does not only apply to Turkey. Its accession to European structures has functioned beneficially for all the countries that pursued and achieved it. And this is so because the EU has been built on specific principles and values: Democracy, a state of law, respect for human rights, commitment for cooperation and relations of good neighborliness. Whatever country has European ambitions is obliged to adjust absolutely to the criteria and the prerequisites that the EU has set."
The deputy foreign minister further said that "Turkey is already faced with a specific framework of decisions and options. It must change its attitude because, otherwise, it will have the consequences to face."
Replying to a question on the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Valinakis said that "the negotiations that, as it is known, have been taking place for a long time between Greece and FYROM, concern the issue of the neighboring country's international name. This is the object of negotiating and not the way with which Greece will call FYROM at a bilateral level. We hope that the new government of FYROM will show the necessary spirit of cooperation to enable a mutually acceptable solution to be found."
Valinakis, who is in New York accompanying Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis for the sessions of the 61st UN General Assembly and for the Greek Security Council Presidency, will be holding a series of contacts at the UN's headquarters and will be participating in multipartite meetings on the promotion of democracy, human rights and inter-cultural dialogue.
Source: Athens News Agency