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Greek, Iranian FMs meet in Athens

Δημοσίευση 7 Δεκεμβρίου 2010, 10:37 / Ανανεώθηκε 27 Ιουνίου 2013, 14:55
Greek, Iranian FMs meet in Athens
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International and regional issues, including bilateral economic ties, mostly dominated a meeting in Athens on Monday between Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas and visiting Iranian FM Manuchehr Motaki.

International and regional issues, including bilateral economic ties, mostly dominated a meeting in Athens on Monday between Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas and visiting Iranian FM Manuchehr Motaki.

Following private consultations, the two foreign ministers were joined by diplomats from both countries.

In a direct statement over Iran's controversial nuclear programme, Motaki underlined that "nuclear weapons do not resolve any problem, the only thing they bring is destruction," while adding that a nuclear-free zone is the best guarantee for security.

Moreover he expressed a hope that talks beginning Monday in Geneva over Iran's nuclear programme will continue in a positive light, so as to reach a positive result for all sides.

On the same issue, Droutsas said Greece completely backs dialogue and rejects any other option, while expressing a hope that talks will be held with the necessary positive spirit in order to bear a desired result.

Asked about what advice, if any, he offered his Iranian counterpart, Droutsas said he doesn't believe any advice is necessary, while noting, however, that Greece "encourages all of the sides to grasp the opportunity, so that the best possible effort is made to reach a solution, which will comprise a guarantee for stability and peace throughout the region."

Additionally, Droutsas referred to Athens' "special interest" in favour of the consolidation of peace and stability in the region, emphasising, along those lines, that the channels of communi-cations must remain open.

Other issues discussed were the situation in Afghanistan and Lebanon, while Motaki cited cooperation with Greece in dealing with problems in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

During a later press conference, Motaki said the talks in Athens are held in the same positive and constructive spirit that characterised the New York talks in September between Prime Minister George Papandreou and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The Iranian envoy will meet with the Greek premier on Tuesday, the second day of his visit to Greece.

Motaki will also meet with Parliament President Filippos Petsalnikos and Regional Development Minister Mihalis Chryssohoidis, while on Monday he had a meeting with Republic President Karolos Papoulias.

In other statements, he referred to the transport of energy from Iran to Europe by saying that “the Persian natural gas pipeline from Iran to Europe is an important project in which Greece could also participate,” expressing an overall interest in a cooperation with Greek enterprises bilaterally or concerning third countries.

Conversely, he repeatedly declined to enter a discussion on so-called “red lines” drawn by his government or whether the uranium enrichment issue will be discussed in Geneva, stressing that “we should wait”, pointing out nonetheless that “a country does not negotiate its rights”.

On the increasingly closer ties between Greece and Israel and how this affects relations with Iran, he merely stated that FM Droutsas has explained to him the basis on which Greece’s relations with Iran and the other countries is based, underlining that the goal of the Greek policy is peace and security in the world.