FM on Turkey, Cyprus, US
Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis said on Wednesday that Turkey was a country that was seeking “ways out of the situation that has been created by the recent developments” in that country, noting that it was obvious that Turkey’s European prospect required a “new breath, which only Turkey itself can give through substantive decisions for continuation of its reform effort”. Speaking at a press conference on foreign affairs issues, Bakoyannis said in a reference to the Cyprus issue that “we are once again at a decisive turning point”, and noted the “more general messages and good atmosphere that characterises the contacts between the two communities, which justify some optimism”.
She added, however, that “the road to a solution, to a fair, viable and functional solution on the basis of a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation will not be strewn with roses”.
As for the US, she said that country was only a few months away from Presidential elections “which, regardless of the outcome, will lead to a change of the present US Administration, with whatever that entails regarding the effect that may possibly have on American foreign policy”.
Turning to the Middle East, Bakoyannis said that “despite some timid signs of improvement, the political and diplomatic pendulum continues, unfortunately to swing between suspicion and tension”.
Bakoyannis further unveiled details of the foreign ministry’s draft law concerning its Translation Service, which she said needed to be upgraded due to “the big increase in the number of languages” for translation into, the more than doubling of the users, the immense volume of its translation work, which was increasing annually with the enargement of the EU, and the large number of economic immigrants, the wider use of “certified” official documents to and from other countries, and the development of new technologies, which she said had an adverse impact on the service’s translation work.
She explained that the draft law was based on a study of what was in force in the other EU countries and in the UN, and aimed at enhancing the work of the ministry’s translators by providing them with modern tools, quality control of the translations, full computerization of the branch and the supervisory mechanisms, decentralisation through the creation of translator positions in all the prefectures of the region, reduction of the cost to the public, reducing the delivery time, and providing translation services and knowhow to third countries.