Prime Minister George Papandreou discussed the Cyprus issue, the name issue of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYRoM), issues of Greek interest, the Middle East question, climatic change and the goals of the millennium in his meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the international Organisation’s headquarters in NewYork on Sunday.
The prime minister expressed his satisfaction, saying that he had a “very constructive meeting” with the head of the UN.
A written statement by the Organisation’s Secretariat said that “the discussion included the issues of economic recovery, the monetary crisis, the climatic change and regional political issues, such as the peace process in the Middle East and Iran.”
It was then pointed out that “the secretary general encouraged Greece to continue to help in the continuation of the momentum in the peace process for Cyprus. The secretary general and the prime minister exchanged views on the course of negotiations between Athens and Skopje on the issue of the name.”
Speaking after the meeting, Papandreou said “I had a very constructive meeting with the General Secretary of the UN, Ban Ki-moon. We discussed in general the issues that concern international developments. Greece always is and remains a strong supporter, not only of international law, but of institutions as well, as is the UN, in the global governance, promoting special issues, the goals of the millennium, that have to do with the combatting of inequality, social injustice and poverty. And for this reason Ban Ki-moon thanked us for our stance and our active role.
“We also had the opportunity to set out our initiatives as well in this framework, particularly with regard to the Eastern Mediterranean and the possibility of us tackling the major problem of climatic change, in a developmental and constructive way. In this framework, a session will be held in Athens, on October 22, with the participation of many leaders of the wider region.”
Referring to the issue of Cyprus, the prime minister said “I stressed once again that it is my conviction that the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Demetris Christofias, is the man who has every will and he is proving this in practice on a daily basis, for there to be a solution to the Cyprus question with the reunification of Cyprus always within the framework of UN resolutions and the EU acquis communautaire.”
Papandreou further said that “Greece fully supports the initiatives of the President of the Republic of Cyprus and that outside pressures and interventions, which are unproductive, do not always help the promotion of a serious and substantive dialogue between the two communities. Something that, of course, both the Turkish government and Mr. (Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip) Erdogan must be aware of.”
The prime minister also referred to the issue of fYRoM’s name, saying “we discussed the issue of the name. As we stressed, we have proved our will for a mutually acceptable solution, always within the framework of our positions and the red lines that are clear. Our will exists and, of course, we are expecting the necessary will from the other side for there to be a solution.”
Lastly, Papandreou said that a discussion took place as well “on the wider region of the Middle East, the Palestinian issue, Iran, as well as on the contacts I had, as well as Mr. Droutsas in the wider region, highlighting Greece’s role again as a player for the support of the peace process.”