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Papandreou renews call for peace in Middle East - 01/01/1970


Main opposition PASOK leader and Socialist International president George Papandreou on Monday renewed a call for peace in the Middle East, during a visit to the island of Ikaria to attend celebrations for the anniversary of the island's liberation from Ottoman rule.

He said that Greeks should continue to have faith that they can achieve major targets and realise great visions, especially in the face of the challenges of the age and the escalation of the conflict in the Middle East.

    Papandreou stressed that the international community should bring the warring sides to the negotiating table, with the goal of establishing a free and independent Palestine that will co-exist side-by-side with Israel, in conditions of peace and cooperation.

    Lebanon must also be able to live independently and peacefully, he added.

    PASOK's president also reiterated that the Socialist International will undertake every feasible initiative in this direction, condemning violence and unilateral actions.

    Papandreou arrived on the island in a Greek Navy vessel from Samos, where he returns on Monday afternoon. He took part in a meeting of party officials on Ikaria and then attended a service at Aghios Kirikos Church, laid a wreath at the Monument to the Fallen and watched a show of traditional island dances organised by young people on Ikaria.

    During the meeting with PASOK party members, he stressed that PASOK can win not only the local government elections but also the national elections and gain a victory that will be more beneficial for the Greek people.

    He accused the present government of having created a sense of defeatism and a sense that problems will not be solved and listed ferry boat services, health and education as areas where it had "made a mess of things".

    Papandreou also leveled criticism against the government over foreign policy, pointing to rising tension with neighbouring Turkey and alleging that Greece was losing out on EU funds.

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