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Politics: President Papoulias holds talks with Armenian counterpart Sargsyan

Δημοσίευση 19 Ιανουαρίου 2011, 11:40 / Ανανεώθηκε 27 Ιουνίου 2013, 14:55
Politics: President Papoulias holds talks with Armenian counterpart Sargsyan
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President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Tuesday received visiting Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, who is currently on an official visit to Greece.

President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Tuesday received visiting Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, who is currently on an official visit to Greece.

During talks between the Greek and Armenian delegations, Papoulias referred to Turkey's role in the history of both Greece and Armenia and expressed hope that Ankara would respond to the Greek government's efforts to build a new relationship.

He pointed out that Greece might well have avoided resorting to the International Monetary Fund and EU loans but for the financial strain of maintaining the armaments ratio with Turkey.

"We spend more money than any of our allies on armanents and that is unfair for a peaceful people," Papoulias added.

Sargsyan also referred to Turkey as a "difficult" neighbour that "continues to adopt the tone of one speaking from a position of power, continues as always to demand everything and quickly."

The two presidents spoke at length about harmonious relations and cooperation between Greece and Armenia, expressing conviction that these could be further expanded, while agreements for bilateral cooperation in culture and education were signed during the meeting.

Participating in the talks were Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas, Regional Development and Competitiveness Minister Mihalis Chryssohoidis, Culture and Tourism Minister Pavlos Geroulanos, Deputy Foreign Minister Dimitris Dollis and their Armenian counterparts.

After the end of his meeting with Papoulias, Sargsyan said that recognition of the Armenian genocide and restoring harmonious relations with all its neighbours should be among the conditions for Turkey's accession to the European Union.

Armenia was not opposed to EU membership for Turkey but believed this should be achieved by Turkey recognising its past and having proper, civilised cooperation with neighbours, the Armenian president said.

He noted that Armenia had made overtures aiming to establish friendly relations with Turkey but did not find a corresponding political will on the Turkish side.

Papoulias referred to bilateral relations between Greece and Armenia in trade, culture and tourism and to the thriving Armenian community currently living in Greece.

Sargsyan, on his part, also highlighted military cooperation between the two countries and extended an invitation to Papoulias to visit Armenia that the Greek president accepted.