Karamanlis meets with Bush in US

Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis held talks with US President George W. Bush at the start of an official visit to Washington late yesterday (Greek time), in what Athens sees as confirmation of improving ties between Greece and the United States of America. In comments while welcoming the Greek PM to the White House, Bush spoke of the beginning of a «strategic partnership» between the two countries, adding that Athens and Washington are working closely together to advance freedom in the Middle East and the Balkans. The PM last met Bush in the US a year ago yesterday. Karamanlis was expected to discuss the US-led «global war on terrorism» with Bush, as well as matters closer to the special concerns of Greek foreign policy, such as relations with Turkey, the Cyprus peace process and the delicate issue of finding a new official name for the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – which the US has already recognized as plain «Macedonia.»