Greece's foreign minister renewed support on Monday for Turkey's bid to join the European Union, arguing it would help stabilize relations between the two traditional rivals and benefit the region.
"Greece steadfastly supports Turkey's course toward Europe ... We want negotiations to start, and to start today," Petros Molyviatis told private Alpha radio.
European Union foreign ministers delayed a ceremony scheduled for Monday afternoon to mark the start of Ankara's membership negotiations, with Austria refusing to back down from its insistence that Turkey be offered something less than full membership if it cannot meet entry criteria.
Greece and Turkey are at odds over war-divided Cyprus and disputed boundaries in the Aegean Sea, and have come close to war three times since 1974. Athens argues that Turkey's EU accession would help soothe those long-standing disputes, the AP reports.
"We believe a European Turkey, a country which has adapted to the standards and values of Europe, would be good for the Turkish people and would be especially good for the Greek people _ helping stability, peace and prosperity across the region," Molyviatis said. AM
Several years ago, a prominent Indonesian businessman who now resides in Canada, insisted on meeting me in a back room of one of Jakarta's posh restaurants. An avid reader of mine, he 'had something urgent to tell me', after finding out that our paths were going to be crossing in this destroyed and hopelessly polluted Indonesian capital.
Presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak, who was accredited for the press conference by Vladimir Putin from Dozhd (Rain) television channel, asked Putin about competition at the coming election
On December 14, President Putin holds his annual Q&A session with Russian and foreign journalists. This conference is considered to be the beginning of his presidential campaign