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Obama and Karamanlis unraveling Cyprus and Macedonia

04 April 2009 / 18:04:58  GRReporter
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The US president Barack Obama and the Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis will meet at 01:30pm Greek time today in Strasburg, where both politicians are participating in the NATO high level meeting. The news about the first meeting between Obama and Karamanlis was arranged 10 days ago and it was officially confirmed by the office of the Greek president.

The Greek government confirmed that agreed topics of discussion will be the global financial crisis, the Greek-Turkish relations, and the argument about Macedonia’s name. As the US president had numerously stated, he had been supporting the Greek point of view regarding the name of the Republic of Macedonia when he was a senator and when he was a president candidate. Regarding Turkey, Prime Minister Karamanlis once again will point out the Turkish military provocations in the Aegean Sea, he will insist on adhering to the rights of the Ecumenical Patriarchy in Istanbul, and he will insist on the need to withdraw the Turkish army from North Cyprus as a condition before uniting the island.

Obama’s answers on those topics are awaited with interest. As a senator, Barack Obama signed a resolution, which insisted that Turkey should accept the Armenian genocide. As a president of the USA, Obama realized the key role, which Turkey could play in protecting the US interest in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and in the Muslim world as a whole. It is not an accident that he will spend two days out of his European trip in Ankara and Istanbul. This is a fact, which is irritating Greece, because it is violating the unwritten tradition of US presidents visiting Turkey and Greece during the same trip.

On the other hand, the US is expected to ask for a bigger Greek participation in the Afghanistan. A request, which probably would not be taken into consideration, because the Greek unwillingness to interfere in military actions worldwide is well known. Greece is participating in Afghanistan with a group of military doctors and it is not likely that it will send troop there. Another request from the American side will be to increase Greece’s role in fighting against the traffic with mass destruction weapons and concluding deals for armament with US weapons.

It is expected that during the meeting Barack Obama will invite Kostas Karamanlis to visit the White House. Though, political analyzers believe that this visit will not take place before the European parliament elections in June, because Washington does not want to be accused of trying to influence the vote results.

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