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Greek PM Says Greece “Sincere” in Seeking Political Solution for Cyprus

Greek PM Mitsotakis and Cyprus President Anastasiades after Monday’s meeting in Nicosia. Credit: Greek Government

Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in statements after a meeting the Cypriot President that “The end of the Turkish occupation and the finding of a viable solution are a top priority of Greek foreign policy and a national issue.”

The Greek leader went on to say that this would also constitute “An act of justice for the Cypriot people” in his remarks, which were delivered to the press after his meeting with Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades at the Presidential Palace.

Cypriot President Anastasiades with Greek PM Mitsotakis on Monday. Credit: Greek Government

As the Prime Minister noted, “We remain committed to the decisions of the United Nations, as well as to the foundation of the European acquis throughout the territory of Cyprus.” He went on to explain that the only viable solution is a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with political equality.”

Mitsotakis added that a new Cypriot federation should have “an international personality, sovereignty and citizenship, and with the guaranteed territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus.

“Unfortunately, the attitude of Turkey and the leader of the Turkish Cypriots is out of context, insisting on the groundless solution of the two states, which is rejected by the UN and the EU,” the Greek leader went on to say.

Tripartite forms of cooperation are “forms of peace” and do not exclude anyone

“Turkey and (Occupied northern Cyprus leader Ersin) Tatar should know that the resumption of substantive dialogue is exclusively within the existing framework,” Mitsotakis added.

Greece is present in the exploratory contacts for the definition of maritime zones. We come with a sincere attitude and zero naivety. There, the consistency of Turkey will be tested.

“Greece has demonstrated in practice that good neighborly relations and respect for international law can resolve chronic differences. We have proved it in the agreements with Italy and Egypt,” the Greek Prime Minister noted.

“The tripartite cooperation schemes are peace schemes and do not exclude anyone,” Mitsotakis concluded after the meeting with Anastasiades.

In closing the joint statements of the two leaders, the Greek PM said that Cyprus is not a fortified state, but that, borrowing the saying of diplomat Nikos Kranidiotis, it has ‘all of Hellenism by its side’ as well as those of great powers, including the EU.

EU vaccination certificate also discussed

In later remarks, the Greek PM referred to the coronavirus vaccine, saying “It is necessary for the EU to procure as soon as possible doses of vaccines that it has agreed with the pharmaceutical companies,” adding that he had also discussed the coronavirus situation with the Cypriot President.

In that part of Monday’s talks, Mitsotakis added, “(W)e also discussed the issue of how we could facilitate travel,” noting his proposal for the creation of an EU vaccination certificate.

Alternate Greek government spokesperson Aristotelia Peloni remarked in her press briefing that Greece expressed its full support for the already-established progress in the UN negotiations, noting that it was the result of many years of negotiations efforts and must be preserved.

She also threw her country’s support behind the Republic of Cyprus “in its efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus problem as well as the efforts of the UN Secretary General for the resumption of negotiations.”

She then noted that Prime Minister Mitsotakis will then go on to Jerusalem, where, at 4:45 PM, he will have a meeting with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu. The object of their meeting, Peloni added, is the “review of developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, the expansion of bilateral cooperation and the reaffirmation of Greek-Israeli cooperation in the defence sector.

“After all,” she stated, “bilateral defense cooperation has already been significantly upgraded in the last year and a half and its results are being seen.”

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