07 October, 2003
Foreign Minister George Papandreou has instructed Greece's Ambassador in Washington George Savvaides to ask for the correction of a U.S. State Department report that lists the Greek terrorist group ''November 17'' among 25 active terrorist organizations, foreign ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis announced on Monday.
Beglitis said that Athens wanted the report to record the true events that led to the arrest of 'N17'.
Nineteen people are currently on trial in Athens as alleged members of N17, while authorities believe that the leaders and main operatives of the group have been brought to justice.
US State Department spokesman comments on foreign terrorist groups and N17: US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said on Monday at least two years are usually required from the last appearance of a terrorist group as an essential condition for an end to its activities to be decided with relative certainty and for it to be removed from the list of ''foreign terrorist groups'' prepared by the State Department every two years.
Boucher was commenting on a decision by US government officials to include the November 17 group in this year's list.
He pointed out that the trial of the N17 group is underway, while referring a questioner to the Greek government for a reply to his question on whether Athens made a demarche to Washington over the issue.
It is reminded that the last ''effective'' attack by N17 occurred in June, 2000, with the assassination of British military attache Stephen Saunders and, therefore, more than three years have passed.
What is most probable, however, is that the operation in Piraeus in June, 2002, which was not completed due to the explosion of a bomb in the hands of Savvas Xiros, was the reason that the group was considered as continuing to be active over the past two years.
Source: Athens News Agency