Athens, May 26, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
Important contacts had the President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades during his visit to Athens on Wednesday May 25. The Cypriot President met with the President of the Greek Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos, the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the leader of the main opposition party New Democracy, Kyriakos Mitsotakis. At the heart of the talks were the developments in solving the Cyprus problem and the progress achieved so far.
The intercommunal talks for a Cyprus settlement, energy issues, regional developments and joint cooperation between Greece and Cyprus with third countries were the issues that were the focus of the meeting of the Greek premier, Alexis Tsipras with N. Anastasiades at the Maximos Mansion.
During the meeting the two leaders further discussed the refugee issue, aspects of EU-Turkey relations, as well as the presence and the contacts of the two leaders at the World Humanitarian Summit of the United Nations in Istanbul.
“I welcome you at a critical and exciting time for our region, for Europe and for Greece and Cyprus, particularly since recently they have emerged as a factor of stability in a widely troubled region”, A. Tsipras said in the brief dialogue they had in front of the cameras at the Maximos Mansion.
“Our close cooperation and promotion of the tripartite cooperation initiatives have showcased Greece and Cyprus as an essential pillar of economic cooperation, peace and stability and I think that this role also helps us see better terms in the effort to solve the Cyprus problem always on the basis of the rules of International Law”, said the prime minister, noting however that “this is a course that has ups and downs, it is a path of edurance and not speed”.
“I am pleased that we are able to follow a line marked by caution, but also determination. I think we will succeed in the coming period to focus on those critical goals, because a solution must, above all, be a fair solution”, A. Tsipras said.
For his part, the President of Cyprus praised Greece as it closes a long chapter of uncertainty and difficulties and emphasized that if the determination that distinguishes the government continues with consistency, then the days of hope are ahead.
He also added that during Wednesday’s meeting he would have the opportunity to discuss with the Prime Minister the role that Greece and Cyprus can play together, working as partners.
Earlier, N. Anastasiades had a meeting with the President of the Greek Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos, who said that Greece and Cyprus are perfectly coordinated in terms of solving the Cyprus problem.
As Mr Pavlopoulos noted, the solution for the Cyprus issue can only exist on the basis of decisions of the institutions of the United Nations and particularly the Security Council and on the basis of the European Acquis. “With a sovereign Cyprus, without any discount. Which means that there would be no occupation troops or guarantors. And we make this clear in every direction”, said the President of the Greek Republic.
The Cyprus issue also dominated the meeting of Kyriakos Mitsotakis with Nikos Anastasiades.
After the meeting the president of New Democracy said:
“I met with the President of the Republic of Cyprus, the good friend Mr Nicos Anastasiades.
As always, the conversation with him took place in an excellent atmosphere. It was extensive and effective. It focused on the Cyprus issue. It is our common belief that there should be a solution as soon as possible. A functional and viable solution, in line with UN decisions and the acquis communautaire. Solution without occupation troops and guarantors.
The constructive attitude and willingness of the Cypriot side is well known and documented. It is necessary to have a similar attitude on the other side. And when we say the other side we mean Turkey, which as an occupying power can impose ultimately, its will on the Turkish-Cypriot side. These practices, however, of Ankara – such as the ones we witnessed in the last days – are not constructive.
And this is something that should be taken very seriously into account by the United Nations”.
Moreover, the Cypriot President contacted Stavros Theodorakis, whom he briefed on the point the talks are at the moment and his moves in the following period.
On his part, Stavros Theodorakis reiterated to Mr Anastasiadss that he supports his planning and they agreed to meet soon. Also, the two men discussed the outcome of the recent parliamentary elections in Cyprus.