27 October, 2005
Negotiations regarding the future status of Kosovo will be neither easy nor painless, President Karolos Papoulias said during a dinner held in his honor in Thessaloniki by Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Nikos Tsiartsionis on Wednesday.
Furthermore, he told attendees that negotiations should concern all since their outcome will affect the greater region and reiterated that Greece sincerely supports all Balkan countries' European Union prospects, a strategic choice given the effect this could have on the future of Southeast Europe.
"Our neighborhood has never been quiet. Threats and dangers lurked sometimes near our northern borders, sometimes near our eastern borders," he said.
"Greece has been and continues to be steadfastly committed to peace, harmonious cooperation and co-existence, based on the rules of international law and the principle of reciprocity," he added.
Regarding Kosovo, Papoulias expressed hope that international law and the UN Charter will remain in effect, that the rights of all groups and the significant cultural Orthodox legacy will be respected, and that the solution reached will be based on European values and principles.
On his part, Tsiartsionis said that Greece is actively sending the message to its Balkan neighbors that cooperation and communication are more productive than discord and conflict, that solidarity and trust are preferable to suspiciousness and intolerance.
Source: Athens News Agency