30 June, 2006
Visiting Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis referred on Thursday to Turkey's relations with the European Union, as well as to the issue of Cyprus in statements to reporters in the Russian capital.
"The European Union expects Turkey to honor its signature in 2006 and to have implemented the Ankara protocol. A position from which the European Union has no intention of escaping," she said and underlined relevant decisions taken by the recent summit in Brussels and almost daily statements by EU and presidency officials.
The protocol concerns the extension of customs union to the EU's 10 new members, including the Republic of Cyprus, and entails the opening of Turkish ports and airports to Cypriot vessels and planes, a fact that has drawn reaction from Ankara.
Commenting on the issue of Cyprus, Bakoyannis said that it was difficult for her to speak of any prospects yet because Athens "has not yet seen the proposals being brought by the United Nations Undersecretary General for political affairs Ibrahim Gambari." Gambari is expected in Athens early July.
She added that the Security Council supports the Gambari mission and the decisions taken during the Paris meeting between Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, meaning that "technical" talks must begin that will also have a political aspect.
Speaking to Greek reporters, Bakoyannis underlined the crucial nature of developments in Iran as Tehran's reply to the package of proposals presented to it on its nuclear program is expected, terming the package "very attractive."
The minister discussed the issue with Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Nicholas Burns, whom she met on Wednesday, and the Russian Security Council Secretary Igor Ivanov, during their meeting in the Kremlin on Thursday.
Bakoyannis also referred to her meeting with Moscow Patriarch Alexiy, discussing with him the unity of Orthodoxy and the problems of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Source: Athens News Agency