The newly elected President of Cyprus Nikos Christodoulides made his first official visit abroad to Greece on Monday where he met President Katerina Sakellaropoulou and PM Kyirakos Mitsotakis.
Christodoulides and Mitsotakis announced the creation of a new body, the Supreme Intergovernmental Cooperation Council, which will coordinate the efforts of Athens and Nicosia on the Cyprus issue.
Mitsotakis said that Christodoulides assumed his duties during a very difficult period of geopolitical volatility with overt revisionism.
Mobilization of Greece and Cyprus “is necessary more than ever”
“The mobilization of Greece and Cyprus is necessary more than ever before. We stand together in the upcoming European Council,” Mitsotakis said, underlining his country’s readiness to continue the fight for the common vision of resolving the Cyprus issue based on the decisions of the UN and the bizonal bicommunal federation.
The prime minister also referred to the migration issue, saying that “in migration, we will continue to support the interests of the ‘front-line’ member-states.”
Speaking of Greek-Turkish relations, he noted that “after a long period of unacceptable provocations and aggressive behavior, we are experiencing a de-escalation and a more positive attitude today. I want to hope that such an improvement can have an impact on Cyprus as well.”
Concluding his statements, the Greek prime minister said to the President of the Republic of Cyprus: “If Turkish intransigence blocked every step, your experience as foreign minister makes me more optimistic. The dialogue on the Cyprus issue must be started, with possibly greater European involvement.”
Visit to Greece “goes beyond its symbolic dimension”
Christodoulides underlined that his visit to Athens goes beyond its symbolic dimension as it takes place at a time when the two countries have to face common challenges both in the region and in their European family.
“My first visit as President of the Republic of Cyprus to Greece does not only have symbolic importance, however, but very substantial importance when taking into account the joint challenges that we have to face, as well as our joint ambitions on both a bilateral and a regional level, as well as within our common European family,” Christodoulides said.
“I informed Mitsotakis about the need for more active involvement of the EU in the efforts to resolve the Cyprus issue. We know very well that the facts are not easy, but we strongly believe that the current situation cannot be the solution to the problem,” Christodoulides added.