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FM Avramopoulos due to hold meeting with UNSG Ban Ki-moon
The Cyprus question and the issue of the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYRoM) were expected to dominate talks during in the meeting Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos was to have with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the international organisation's headquarters on Sunday night, Greek time.
Speaking in an interview with New York's weekly Greek American newspaper "Greek News", on the occasion of the sessions of the UN General Assembly's 67th conference, Avramopoulos said that the issue of Cyprus would be high on the meeting's agenda "because we must safeguard the UN's active role and shield the procedure under its auspices", as he said, stressing that "we shall also discuss the situation in the Western Balkans, the issue of the name and the developments in Kosovo. And of course, we shall examine the situation in the Middle East and North Africa".
As regards Greece, and to whether it will proceed with the declaration of its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), the Foreign minister said "the delineation of all sea zones with all our neighbours constitutes a steadfast political choice and priority for Greece. Not only for the economic benefits it offers, but also because the conclusion of such agreements contributes to the consolidation of peace and stability".
"The Exclusice Economic Zone constitutes an inalienable right of Greece and its enactment will take place in the framework of the wider strategy and with the criterion of the maximisation of benefits for the country," Avramopoulos noted, adding: "Do not forget that we are already proceeding with determination with a research in the Ionian Sea and south of Crete, where the safest indications exist as well. Greece, at last, is entering the energy game and will proceed with consistency and good planning."
Referring to the rest of the issues that he will be discussing with the UN secretary general, Avramopoulos said that "Greece is very close to developments, it is affected directly by them and is waging its own struggle for peace to prevail, with respect for the sovereignty and the will of the peoples of the region. The crisis in Syria is threatening stability in the entire Middle East and has repercussions on world security. We shall discuss the UN's role in the crisis and the great humanitarian challenges we have to face".
After his meeting with Ban Ki-moon, the Foreign minister will be meeting with the UN secretary general's special envoy in the talks between Greece and FYROM on the issue of the name, Matthew Nimetz, at the headquarters of the Greek permanent delegation. "It will be my first meeting with Mr. Nimetz and it will give us the opportunity to exchange views on the prospects of solving the issue of the name," Avramopoulos said, stressing that "Greece has supported his mandate in a longstanding way and the process of the UN and has proved in practice its constructive stance".
SOURCE: ATHENS NEWS AGENCY