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Greece, Moldova sign three cooperation accords

Greek President Karolos Papoulias on Tuesday received his visiting counterpart from Moldova, Vladimir Voronin, at the presidential mansion, as the latter arrived in Athens the same day for a two-day state visit at Papoulias' invitation. Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis also met separately with Voronin. No statements were made afterwards.

Voronin commenced a two-day state visit on Tuesday at the invitation of President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias.

The Greek president expressed pleasure at the Moldovan leader's visit to Greece, stressing the historic bonds between the two nations, given that many ethnic Greek leaders had lived and held high-ranking government posts in 18th and 19th century Moldova.

"Ypsilantis had his headquarters there, and I am certain that there will be a gift from Moldova to Greece: The return of the home where Ypsilantis lived and worked," Papoulias said, in reference to Greek independence struggle hero Alexandros Ypsilantis.

Turning to bilateral relations, Papoulis said they were "cloudless and problem-free", noting that there was an extensive legal framework that facilitated cooperation in all sectors, a cooperation that was "friendly and cordial", while the signing earlier in the day of cooperation agreements between the two countries contributed to further strengthening of those relations.

The Moldovan president, in turn, noted that, from the very first moment, when he and Papoulias had planted two plane trees in the town of Milies (in mountainous Pelion district of central Greece in October 2005), relations have been cordial and friendly.

"History has proved that countries with historic bonds do not necesssarily have friendly relations. But our case is different. Our long relationship is founded on friendship, and was strengthened by the common struggles for independence," Voronin said, adding his hope that "the present-day people of Greece and Moldova will continue developing these relations".

Turning to domestic affairs in Modova, Voronin said his country was in a period of reforms, adding that it was very important to have Greece at its side along the hard road to accession to the European structures.

Three bilateral cooperation accords were later signed by the two governments in the presence of Papoulias and Voronin.

A memorandum of cooperation in the sectors of public administration, personnel management and organisation was signed by Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos and Moldova's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Local Public Administration Vitalie Vrabie. A cooperation agreement in the sectors of culture, education and science was signed by Education Minister Marietta Yannakou and Vrabie, while an agreement for mutual assistance between the customs authorities was signed by Finance Minister Antonis Bezas and the director general of Moldova's customs service, Feodosia Furculita.

Source: ANA-MPA


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