PM Karamanlis meets with French counterpart Fillon, President Sarkozy in Paris
Paris (ANA-MPA/N. Melissova) -- Greece's prime minister Costas Karamanlis met Monday in Paris with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, for talks slated to cover a wide range of international, regional and bilateral issues. Karamanlis, who arrived in the French capital on Sunday, was greeted at the entrance of the Elysee Palace by Sarkozy, while foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis and her French counterpart Bernard Kouchner also attended the meeting. The talks were scheduled to continue over a working lunch hosted by Sarkozy for Karamanlis, which would be followed by a joint press conference. Earlier in the day, Karamanlis had a 45-minute meeting with French prime minister Francois Fillon, with talks focusing on climate changes, prompted by the wildfires plaguing the two countries this summer, and prospects for their confrontation. The two sides agreed on coordinating their efforts and backing forms of cooperation for confronting the new conditions created by the climate changes. The two prime ministers also discussed the Inter-Governmental Conference (IGC) and endorsed the completion of the relevant procedures during the current Portuguese presidency of the EU, which expires at the end of the year. They further discussed the European prospect of the western Balkan countries, which they described as one of the most important factors for ensuring stability and prosperity in the region. Karamanlis also brought up the FYROM name issue with his French counterpart, stressing that Greece has taken the required steps and now was awaiting the other side to follow suit. The talks focused also on bilateral relations, with emphasis on economic relations, which the two sides described as very good and expressed the desire for their further improvement, to the benefit of both sides. The two prime ministers particularly highlighted the increase in Greek exports to France and the increase in French investments in Greece. In a reference to the developments in Turkey and its European prospect, Karamanlis reiterated the firm Greek position of "full compliance, full accession".
Caption: Greece's prime minister Costas Karamanlis (R) being greeted by French President Nicolas Sarkozy at the Elysee Palace in Paris. (ANA-MPA/A. Guilelmos)