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Erdogan arrives in Athens

19 January 2010 / 17:01:29  GRReporter
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George Papandreou confirmed his intention to invite Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to visit Athens. The invitation will be sent in a letter in which the Greek PM will answer questions of Mr. Erdogan. The dates of the visit have not yet been clarified. 

The first question that the Turkish Prime Minister will put in his Agenda is about the Muslim minority in Thrace and the Greek minority in Istanbul. Yesterday Erdogan requested a meeting with the President of Greece Karolos Papoulyas during the international conference on the energy future of the planet in Abu Dhabi, where Papoulyas was invited as the main speaker. At the meeting, Mr. Papoulyas reiterated Greece's position and received appropriate responses when he expressed his position on "the problems in Western Thrace." 

On the other hand, during his visit to Greece President of Cyprus Dimitris Hristofiyas and George Papandreou announced that in the near future they will establish a team of legal experts who will help in the negotiations on the Cyprian issue. The Greek Cypriot President informed the Greek politicians about the development in the political negotiations after the first round of intensive discussions with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat. 

Hristofiyas and Papandreou support a common position that the proposals for a new state government, which was recently made by Talat, are negative and retrograde. These are proposals that are far from creating a federal republic with two zones and two communities, said Mr. Papandreou. The Cyprian president reiterated that these proposals cannot be basis for negotiations. Both politicians agreed that the negotiations should continue without putting time limits on the signing an agreement and without arbitration. Finally, Mr. Papandreou accepted Mr. Hristofiyas’ invitation to visit Cyprus. 

During his visit to Greece, Mr. Hristofiyas visited the small village of Artemis in Peloponnese, which two and a half years ago burned during the fires. Back then 7 children and 19 people died, 77 houses burned to the ground and all fields and agricultural productions were burned. 

At that point Cyprus helped restore the area by financing it with €14 million. Also dozens of new houses were built for the homeless and special measures to avoid flooding were taken. Mr. Hristofiyas and Mr. Papandreou placed wreaths on the monuments of those who died during the fires and officially opened the central square of the village, which will now be called Square Cyprus.

Tags: Erdogan Turkey Greece Cyprus Cyprian issue Fires in Greece
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