04 October, 2005
Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis, speaking at a press conference here on Monday night, said the achievement of an agreement on the beginning of accession negotiations between Turkey and the European Union was a "historic moment."
Molyviatis said this agreement was the result of a long and difficult procedure. Greece and Cyprus have succeeded in fully safeguarding all their objectives on the basis of legally binding and institutional texts. The foreign minister added that a new era is beginning in relations between Greece and Turkey, an era of "peace and stability" which shall benefit both the Greek and Turkish people.
Molyviatis also expressed the hope that the "bad past" in relations between Greece and Turkey can change. He added that Greece's strategic target is to turn "its neighborhood" into a region of peace, security and stability. This can only be achieved through the European path. Consequently, he said, Greece desires the accession of all the Balkan countries and of Turkey to the EU.
As regards a statement by the British Presidency on the negotiating framework (paragraph 7), the foreign minister termed it purely “an interpretive one”, noting that it has no legal impact. “This paragraph states that Turkey has to align its position to Europe’s positions, regarding the possibility of Cyprus entering International Organizations. The presidency’s statement says that this paragraph does not limit the right of every organization and its members to decide. Turkey, according to Paragraph 7 and the statement of the presidency will be evaluated by the EU whether it aligns its positions to those of the EU, as it is obliged. Turkey will continue to be judged whether it has fulfilled its obligations that this agreement stipulates.”
Lastly, the foreign minister expressed satisfaction over progress being achieved regarding Croatia's course towards the EU.
Source: Athens News Agency