Kotzias assures of Athens’ full support of Cyprus’ policy on its national issue

Kotzias assures of Athens’ full support of Cyprus’ policy on its national issue


Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias on Tuesday is expected to conclude his visit to Nicosia with a speech for March 25, 1821 Greek revolution and April 1, 1955, the first day of the Greek Cypriots’ liberation struggle against English colonialism.

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Archbishop Chrysostomos will address the event.

On Monday, Kotzias met with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and his counterpart Ioannis Kasoulides as well as the president of the House of Representatives and party leaders.

Anastasiades said that he shares the same views with Kotzias on the Cyprus issue and Kotzias stressed that Greece fully supports Cyprus’ policy.

Kotzias said that they discussed on the resumption of the negotiations and the stance that both countries will keep.

“We talked about the international climate, the latest changes and my recent meetings in the US,” he underlined.

Speaking after a meeting with his Cypriot counterpart Ioannis Kasoulides, here today, Kotzias said they discussed regional developments and ways to improve security and stability. They also examined trilateral cooperation agreements the two countries have signed with neighbouring nations.

On the Cyprus problem, he said both countries have excellent cooperation and mutual concerns.

On his part, Kasoulides said Greece is making “diligent and tireless efforts to find a viable and European solution to the Cyprus problem, without anachronistic military guarantee systems.”

Kasoulides said the two reviewed and analysed their joint efforts and briefed one another on their contacts at various capitals.

He said all the efforts for a common policy in the Eastern Mediterranean, the trilateral cooperation with East Mediterranean countries as well as separate and joint efforts to fight terrorism are beginning to show that “we are important countries in tackling assymetric threats” and are proving to be useful in serving the national issues of Greece and Cyprus.

Answering a question on the Cyprus issue, Kotzias said it has two aspects, an internal and an external aspect. Greece, he said, has never meddled or expressed an opinion on the internal aspects, because Athens “fully and completely supports the policy of the Republic of Cyprus”.

Regarding the external aspect of the Cyprus question, Kotzias said the feeling he got from the talks in Geneva earlier this year is that Turkey is not ready, it may not even want to discuss the issue of guarantees and does not want to relinquish its non-existent illegal right to intervene.

He explained that Turkey abandoned the negotiating table at the point where it was supposed to give answers. Kotzias said he had predicted that Ankara would raise other issues to avoid discussion on the core issues that concern Turkey directly, such as the withdrawal of its occupation troops from Cyprus.

Kotzias said Greece wants to maintain the channels of communication with Turkey, noting that instead Turkey chooses to abandon discussions and make noise.

“It is internationally accepted that Turkey is at present nervous. I hope it overcomes its nervousness and enable us to return to a substantial dialogue on the basis of international law and the real rights of the people,” the Greek FM said.

Regarding his contacts in the US, Kotzias said that at the moment, the US foreign policy is going through a transition. “It is worth making our views and proposals known on what is happening in the region to show that in this region of great instability, Greece and Cyprus are a pillar of stability that can contribute to stability in the whole region and especially in states which are of interest to the US, such as Egypt and Israel,” he noted.

Kotzias was also received by Syllouris at the Parliament.

In a short conversation with the Greek FM in the presence of journalists, the House President stressed that the current system of guarantees that has led to destruction cannot continue.

The Cyprus issue, said Syllouris, has always been primarily a problem of security, noting that the system of guarantees that led to the destruction in Cyprus in 1974, as it was exploited by Turkey to invade an independent state, cannot become part of the solution of the Cyprus issue. “This cannot exist in the future and it cannot be acceptable by the people of Cyprus,” he added.

Cyprus` independence, that has been “wounded” especially by Turkey`s expansionist policy, has to be restored across the island, he noted.

He also said that Cyprus is grateful for Greece`s support.

At the same time he noted that the two countries can be the catalysts for new developments in their region.

The Cyprus issue is for the Greek government a fundamental issue and “we always wish for a united, independent, sovereign Cyprus free of foreign troops and occupying armies” the Greek Foreign Minister said.

“I strongly believe and I have always believed that the violators of international law must not be vindicated” Kotzias said.

He said that the Greek government wishes to contribute to a just, a functional and viable solution of the Cyprus problem, rather than call a solution that which will maintain the illegal occupation./IBNA