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Source: Greece
29 May 2013

Statements following the meeting between Foreign Minister Avramopoulos and his Palestinian counterpart R. Malki

D. AVRAMOPOULOS: It is a pleasure for me to be here today and meet with my counterpart and friend, Dr. Malki. The strong ties of solidarity and friendship linking our two peoples are well-known and remain indissoluble.

Greece has been a reliable friend of the Palestinian people in words as well as in deeds. The fulfilment of the just and rightful aspirations of the Palestinian people to establish a homeland remains an imperative; a moral obligation of the International Community.

The determination of the international community to see the direct negotiations between Israel and Palestine resumed is well known.

Greece highly appreciates Secretary Kerry’s initiative to build confidence between the parties and bring new impetus to the peace process.

It goes without saying that Greece is prepared to offer its good services, if it can in any way facilitate the peace process.   

We should do our outmost to keep the two-state solution feasible on the ground.

It is the only solution that effectively responds to the legitimate rights of the two peoples: the right of Israelis to security and the right of the Palestinians to statehood.

On the practical side, there needs to be a rapid freeze of all settlement activity, which is a visible threat to the two-state solution, and the Palestinian economy should be allowed to function freely, without restrictions on access and movement, and be integrated in the international system. 

We strongly support President Abbas’s efforts toward national reconciliation and institution building.

The EU has already developed a number of state-building projects in Palestine. Greece is going to assume the rotating Presidency of the EU in the first half of 2014, and in this respect we will be glad to support a more enhanced cooperation between the EU and the PA.

We have also decided to intensify our cooperation at all levels in the months to come, and I briefed my friend Dr. Malki on all the issues that are high on our agenda.

R. MALKI: It was a great pleasure to receive my friend the Foreign Minister of Greece, Mr. Avramopoulos, here in Palestine. He represents a friendly country; a country with which, as everyone knows, we maintain historically friendly relations. I am proud of this friendship, and I would like to thank Greece again for its decision to vote in favor of upgrading the Palestinian Authority to non-member observer state status at the UN on 29 November 2012.

We had sincere and friendly talks, during which we stressed our mutual desire to further tighten bilateral relations, and we explored ways to do that and the steps we need to take in the future. We discussed the situation in Palestine, the issue of settlement activity and the way that impacts the peacemaking efforts. We fully support the initiative of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. We have made every effort towards its success, and I think that we will soon have positive results. Once again, I will repeat that I am proud of our friendship and very pleased that we had this meeting.


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