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Venizelos' Speech at the UN

In his speech at the 68th General Assembly of the UN, government vice president and foreign minister, Evangelos Venizelos, highlighted a number of issues including illegal migration, the concern of Greece for peace and stability in the Middle East, relations with FYROM and Turkey, and the Cyprus issue.

Mr. Venizelos praised the High Level Dialogue on Migration and Development (3 and 4 October) as an major opportunity to draw up a comprehensive agenda for the effective and inclusive management of migration.

He stressed that Greece is "under strong pressure due to illegal migration, which significantly burdens our economic and administrative capabilities. The effective management of migration is a fundamental political choice for Greece, given that it is directly linked to protection of and respect for human rights, social cohesion, public safety, and the country's economic stability."

The foreign minister praised Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas "for their leadership and courage to engage in the peace talks," also noting the concerns of Greece the ongoing crisis and bloodshed in Syria; "a crisis that jeopardizes stability in a fragile region," as he said.

Mr. Venizelos, also noted continued Greek efforts towards finding a solution on the FYROM name issue.

The foreign minister towards the end of his speech referred to the Cyprus problem, which he said, " remains, first and foremost, an issue of illegal military occupation of well over a third of the territory of a UN and EU member state." He expressed hopes that "Ankara, at long last, will decide to pursue a new policy of normalization of its relations with the Republic of Cyprus."

Finally, Mr. Venizelos spoke of the Greek economy and the prospects of the Greek EU presidency beginning in January 2014.

The whole text of Mr. Venizelos' speech here:¨http://www.mfa.gr/en/current-affairs/top-story/deputy-prime-minister-and-foreign-minister-venizelos-speech-to-the-plenary-of-the-68th-un-general-assembly-new-york-27-september-2013.html