Greek President Karolos Papoulias sent a message to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYRoM) from here that "as long as they insist on their intransigent positions, so much the more they shall keep the door of NATO closed and the accession procedure towards the European Union frozen," as well as to Ankara that the issue of Cyprus is an issue that "deeply affects Greek-Turkish relations" and constitutes "a substantive obstacle for the European Union's relations with Turkey."

 

Speaking during the official dinner hosted in his honour by his Bulgarian counterpart Georgi Parvanov, President Papoulias, referring to fYRoM, stressed that "the problem lies in that Skopje show the entire geographical area of Macedonia as the fatherland of their own nation," and noted that "Greece supports a solution that will reflect the reality of the region."

On the question of Cyprus, President Papoulias said that "it is an international issue of invasion and occupation" and added that "Greece supports a solution that will respect the principles of freedom, democracy, the state of law and of human rights. A European solution that will implement the acquis communautaire and will implement the resolutions of the Security Council for Cyprus."

Also referring to Greek-Bulgarian cooperation in the energy sector, President Papoulias said that "with the construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupoli oil pipeline and the South Stream pipeline, the energy weight centre in the wider region moves towards our countries."

The President of the Republic also reiterated Greece's support for the accession course of the countries of the Western Balkans to the European Union, provided that they fulfill the criteria of Copenhagen and praised Greek-Bulgarian cooperation, both at political and economic level, an issue on which he had a lengthy discussion with Parvanov in the morning.