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Greek pres. highly appreciates Qatar mediating role in Gaza

ANKARA, May 29 (KUNA) -- Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou highly expressed Wednesday her country's appreciation to Qatar mediating role in the ongoing armed conflict in the besieged Gaza Strip and the huge humanitarian crisis.
While receiving visiting Qatari Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad in the country, Sakellaropoulou affirmed that "Greece will continue to strive to contribute to an immediate and viable ceasefire" in Gaza, Greek news agency reported.
Friendly relations with Qatar are based on mutual respect and common commitment to the main principles of international law, she said, noting that the two countries are playing an essential role in achieving stability in the region.
"In this context, we must intensify our collective efforts to bring about a ceasefire, the release of the hostages and to ensure the unhindered flow of humanitarian aid," Sakellaropoulou said.
"We hope for peace in the region and we support a two-state solution within the framework of International Law," she added, according to the agency.
Referring to bilateral relations between Greece and Qatar, the president claimed that "there are significant opportunities and possibilities for achieving mutually beneficial cooperation in many fields." She expressed her certainty that the visit of the Amir of Qatar to Athens "sends an important message, it is an important leap in our bilateral relations".
Meanwhile, the Amir of Qatar thanked Sakellaropoulou for her warm welcome, expressing his gratitude and pleasure to be visiting Athens for the first time, hoping that the visit will act to strengthen bilateral relations.
The Amir elaborated that 50 years have already elapsed since diplomatic relations between the two countries were first established and agreed with Sakellaropoulou that there are many opportunities and possibilities for their further enhancement.
Sheikh Tamim said "we appreciate the role and stance of Greece regarding the war in Gaza,", stressing that "unfortunately there are massacres committed every day against the Palestinian people in Gaza and other areas.
"There are millions of people in the city of Rafah who are suffering, unfortunately there are massacres, I cannot describe how this situation is happening.
"We are talking about Rafah, but there are massacres taking place every day for eight months now; from the north to the south, these tragedies have been happening every day." He noted that Qatar's position is known and that it supports a two-state solution, with the two countries, the two peoples, living together in peace in the region.
"We are working with our friends the Greeks to send in humanitarian aid, and we are also working together to free the people held there. "This is a human issue, we are working on it and all the people who are there should return to their families, to their parents," he added.
Furthermore, Sheikh Tamim and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis held official talks in Athens where the host welcomed the guest.
The Premier pointed to Greece's significant progress as regards growth, saying that the meeting would be an opportunity to discuss regional developments, particularly what is happening in the Middle East, the agency said.
Paying his first official visit to Greece, the Amir highlighted the opportunity offered to strengthen bilateral relations, especially with respect to the economy and investments, while welcoming the opportunity to discuss regional issues and especially what is happening in Gaza.
The talks between the two sides' delegations focused on the mutual desire to strengthen relations the two countries and witnessed the signature of two agreements.
They included a deal on enhancing military cooperation between the defense ministries of Greece and Qatar, and a Memorandum of Cooperation for political deliberations on issues of mutual interest between the foreign ministries of the two countries.
The two sides also covered, during talks, enhancing cooperation in a series of sectors, such as the economy, investments, energy and culture.
Sheikh Tamim arrived in Athens Tuesday in a state visit to Greece where he was warmly and officially received. (end) aas.hm