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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-10-14

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Main opposition chief in talks with Cyprus
  • [02] Cyprus sees 'exemplary' ties with Greece

  • [01] Main opposition chief in talks with Cyprus

    The leader of the main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) on Saturday met Cyprus' foreign minister for talks on Turkey's bid to join the European Union, and on the Cyprus question.

    "As often, we had the opportunity to exchange views on key developments in the Cyprus issue and Turkey's move towards the European Union. I detailed my recent visit to Turkey and my meetings with Premier Erdogan, of which I have already informed the Cypriot president," PASOK leader George Papandreou told reporters after his meeting in Athens with George Lillikas.

    "In the talks (with Lillikas) we looked for likely moves and initiatives to which we could all contribute in handling Turkey's course towards Europe, a course that I think we all want, but which, on the other hand, entails specific commitments that Ankara must honour immediately - such as good neighbourliness within the framework of agreements, decisioins of the European Union. It's time for Turkey to take a step forward," he said.

    Lillikas thanked Papandreou for his willingness to advance the Cypriot government's line, including through the Socialist International, which the PASOK leader currently heads.

    "I think that this was a very productive and creative meeting, with detailed discussion of the various scenarios or ideas that are currently on the table, as well as an assessment of perspectives that could allow for avoidance of a conflict in ties between Europe and Turkey," Lillikas added.

    "Our aim is for Turkey to maintain its move towards Europe. However, as we have often seen, this does not depend on us. In the final analysis, it depends on the stand that the Turkish government itself will hold," he added.

    [02] Cyprus sees 'exemplary' ties with Greece

    Ties between Athens and Nicosia are "exemplary", Cypriot foreign minister George Lillikas said in an interview published on Saturday.

    The minister told the Vima newspaper that the island republic would no longer give Turkey the green light in its bid to join the European Union if Ankara failed to meet its commitments; and would employ its right of veto at the negotiating table chaired by the 25-nation bloc's Finnish presidency.

    "The government will not concede a third time, even if it remains alone among its 24 EU partners," Lillikas warned.

    "We are in full harmony with Athens. We have discussed many angles of our tactics and strategy...We have never attributed any problems to the Greek government, and we would never seek to burden any problem on the Greek government," he underlined.

    Asked if Cyprus' credibility would be harmed should it maintain its threat of a veto and then back down, Lillikas replied: "If Turkey persists in its current policy, we have no other choice. But what we say, we mean. It is not our purpose to have a crisis," he said.

    "A Turkish journalist and a Turkish diplomat asked me what we have to gain if the two 'trains' crash. My reply was...Nothing, unfortunately nothing," the minister added.

    Also on Saturday, Lillikas held talks in Athens on Cyprus and Turkey with the leader of the main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement, George Papandreou.


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