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Minister Pleased by US Truce Stand

November 28, 2001

ATHENS, Greece (AP) _ Greece’s foreign minister is gratified the United States did not completely reject a request for the revival of an ancient Olympic truce.

President Bush turned aside an IOC request for a military truce during the Salt Lake City Games, but said Tuesday he will propose a U.N. resolution allowing athletes to travel safely to and from the Olympics. The resolution is to be submitted Dec. 11.

``The fact that this is being discussed at this level is a success,″ Foreign Minister George Papandreou said.

The concept of an Olympic truce began in ancient Greece, when warring parties suspended conflicts during the games.

The Olympics were held in Ancient Olympia from 776 B.C. to 394, when the Roman Emperor Theodosius abolished them after Christianity took root and he deemed the games pagan. They were revived in Athens in 1896.

Papandreou said that since 1993 it has become a tradition for the country holding an Olympics to submit an Olympic truce resolution to the United Nations.

He said the fact that the matter ``occupied″ Bush during a time when the United States is dealing with Afghanistan was a positive sign.

Papandreou last week announced that 17 foreign ministers, including those of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, had signed a declaration in support of an Olympic truce during the Salt Lake Games and the 2004 Athens Olympics.

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