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George Papandreou: “We Defend Our National Interests”

Friday, 16 April 2010 14:10

papandreou_vouli645Addressing the House on Friday, the Prime Minister touched on national affairs. Georg-e Papandreou underlined that the only dispute with Ankara to be resolved is the continental self. Communist leader Aleka Papariga expressed her concerns over Greece’s national affairs, arguing that after the Imia incidence, NATO ratifies the disputes raised by Turkey.

“Figments of Imagination”

“You are nourishing worries and associate everything in a manner befitting a conspiracy-like reasoning, and of course, these are the stereotypes you usually employ when dealing with national affairsG. Papandreou “Press reports referring to the division of the Aegean at the 25th meridian or to Greece’s commitment to support Kosovo’s independence and the use of FYROM as a US protectorate are nothing by figments of imagination,” Papandreou replied to Aleka Papariga.”If you wish to believe them, you are building your policy upon false information,” added he.

In her question, Aleka Papariga cited press reports on the division of the Aegean. She also cited a document issued by the US chief of the NATO air base in Izmir, whereby the Aegean is a grey zone. She then referred to positions that believe that the talks on the Greek-Turkish disputes include more than the issue of the continental shelf.


Papariga expressed her party’s concern, arguing that the press reports were not all wrong.

“Ever since 1996, our national sovereign rights have been under dispute. The EU does not associate our rights and the Aegean border with Turkey’s EU bid. There is the deal brokered because Simitis and Demirel. We know that Turkey believe that some Greek islands are not covered by the continental shelf and NATO keeps excluding those islands from its drills,” commented Papariga.

“You are trying to cover up the issue by dividing the Aegean, something that will have an adverse effect on the islands’ defence. We do not suggest a war, problems can be resolved. However, the acute rivalry in the area and the fact that NATO recognizes the grey zones that Turkey recognizes make us feel concerned. There are no agreements in the modern worlds that do not lead to new rounds of wars,” noted the Greek Communist leader.

In response, George Papandreou said: “You have adopted a position whereby the Imia isle is officially disputed for petty party expediencies. There is no such a thing. Greece does not recognize that. Imia is a Greek isle. Of course, various issues are referred to the Hague and that’s why we suggest referring to the Hague,” and urged Papariga to cease nourishing phobias and concerns based on false and groundless information.

The Prime Minister also said that his government requested the US chief of the NATO air base in Izmir to recall the document regarding the Aegean which he finally did. He then went on to add that Greece is working on to have Europe pledge to accept the Balkan nations in the EU in 2014.

“With regard to the FYROM name dispute and the Cyprus issue, we have set the red lines and we ought to promote the said issues to all the nations and to our bilateral talks. In every trip and meeting, we promote the above positions and despite the tough financial conditions, we know how to defend our national interests,” stressed George Papandreou.

Source: NET, NET 105.8, ANA/MPA


Deadly blasts strike Afghanistan

Monday, March 01, 2010 19:17 Mecca time, 16:17 GMT from AlJazeera English website

Deadly blasts strike Afghanistan The blast in Kadahar province killed five Afghans, including a police officer [Reuters] Four Nato soldiers and at least nine Afghans have been killed in separate attacks across Afghanistan, including a car bomb explosion in the southern province of Kandahar. Two members of the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) died in an attack in western Afghanistan, while another service member was killed by small arms fire in the country’s south, Nato officials said on Monday. Elsewhere, one Afghan police officer died when a car bomb exploded outside the police headquarters in Kandahar city, Sardar Mohammad Zazai, the provincial police chief, said. He said the blast wounded nine other officers and six civilians. Just hours earlier, four Afghan civilians and one Nato soldier died after a suicide car bomber targeted international forces outside Kandahar city, officials said. Civilians killed The assailant had waited in a taxi near a bridge between the airport and Kandahar city that Isaf troops regularly check for explosives, Inhamullah Khan, an Afghan army official at the bombing site, said. The attacker detonated the bomb as the convoy crossed the bridge in the morning, hurling a military vehicle into the ravine below, he said. Khan said the civilians who died were in a car that had pulled over nearby to wait for the convoy to pass. Kandahar city, the capital of the province of the same name, is east of Helmand province, where thousands of US, Isaf and Afghan troops are conducting a two-week-long anti-Taliban offensive and where a roadside bomb claimed the lives of 11 civilians on Sunday. In other violence, Daud Ahmadi, the Helmand governor’s spokesman, said “a civilian car struck a roadside bomb in Nawzad district” in the province’s north. Blaming the Taliban for the attack, Ahmadi said the dead included two children and two women. Pakistan attack Meanwhile, anti-government fighters in Pakistan blew up a tanker carrying fuel for Isaf troops stationed in Afghanistan. Several armed men lobbed a rocket and then opened fire on Monday on the supply convoy on the outskirts of the northwestern city Peshawar, Imtiaz Ahmed, a senior police officer, said. In a subsequent exchange of fire lasting up to an hour, Pakistani security forces killed a fighter, Karim Khan, another police officer, said. Police did not immediately identify the assailants, but the Taliban and members of local group Lashkar-e-Islam regularly attack Nato supply vehicles on the main route through northwest Pakistan.

UNAMA, Indo-US nexus not on same page?

By: Sikander Shaheen | Published: February 27,

ISLAMABAD – Although intensified and off-the-curtain deliberations for reconciliation between US and Taliban have been continuing for the last couple of months in Afghanistan, yet the United Nations holds certain disagreements with NATO command over its ‘overstepping’ on some fronts.
United Nations Assistance Missions in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has been instrumental, throughout, in arranging covert talks between Taliban and NATO command, and some senior Taliban leaders frequently met Kai Eide in the second half of December last and couple of months that followed. However, the inclusion of some wanted miscreants of different terrorist organisations in the ‘dialogue process’ followed by their stealthy visits in Afghanistan, and uncalled for Indian involvement are some of the factors that do not go well with UNAMA.
After UN Afghanistan Chief Kai Eide had faced wide criticism on his failure to play an active role in stopping Afghanistan’s fraudulent presidential elections last year under growing demands for his resignations coming from credible international agencies, the outgoing Envoy wants to quit his responsibilities with some worthy achievements to his credit and his active involvement in initiating dialogue with Taliban is inter-linked to it.
Deeply cautious of his somehow passive role on the occasion of presidential elections and carrying the resolve not to repeat his mistakes, Kai Eide has been critical of Afghan government’s inefficiency and has differences with Karzai’s regime in the wake of massive corruption and drugs trafficking. During his tenure, UN had made public several reports highlighting Afghanistan’s inability to counter indigenous vices, other than terrorism, like lack of transparency, misappropriation of funds, and drugs smuggling. It was under his command that international community, for the first time, started pointing fingers at Afghanistan for its self-created multiple crises instead of using Pakistan as a scapegoat.
While Kai Eide has an individual role in facilitating secretive meet-ups with Taliban leaders, he is equally repulsive of NATO’s overstepping to use ‘fugitive’ Taliban in pursuit of its vested agenda. The outgoing Envoy, who is stepping down the next month, cites some personal reasons and family commitments for his decision to wind up, but informed circles in UNAMA believe that their Chief would have given a serious thought to get his contract renewed “had he not been completely out of line on some issues with US military command in Afghanistan.”

Protesters Gunned Down In Southern Afghanistan

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Several people were shot dead and more than a dozen injured on Tuesday during an anti-NATO demonstration in Afghanistan’s volatile Helmand province, local media said.

Hundreds of Afghans took part in the demonstration, which had to be dispersed by police and the military. They were protesting against the killings of civilians by NATO troops and demanding their withdrawal from the country.

The demonstration followed a recent NATO airstrike in the town of Garmsir. The military said several militants were killed as a result of the attack, but the protesters claimed there were also victims among civilians.

The shooting reportedly broke out on Tuesday when the demonstrators started to throw stones at Afghan police and foreign officers, who arrived at the site to calm down the protesters.

“I confirm that the demonstration in Garmsir took place, and that it was dispersed,” said Helmand governor’s press secretary Daud Ahmadi.

He said “no one could say for certain who fired at demonstrators – foreign servicemen, [Afghan] police or militants.” However, he added, “it is known for sure that there were armed men among the protesters,” and pledged to investigate the incident.

Demonstrations against NATO’s presence in Afghanistan are common. In late December, hundreds of students in the country’s eastern Nangarhar province blocked a major highway linking the Afghan east with country’s central provinces.

Violence surged in the country in 2009, with the radical Islamic Taliban group staging regular attacks on provincial government officials, police and civilians and planting roadside devices as part of its fight against U.S. and NATO troops.

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and a separate U.S.-led coalition, involved in Operation Enduring Freedom, have more than 110,000 troops in Afghanistan.

In early December, U.S. President Barack Obama said in a televised address to the nation that the U.S. would send an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan in the first part of 2010 to defeat the Taliban and establish law and order.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen then said alliance members were ready to send 7,000 more troops to Afghanistan.

Source: RIA Novosti