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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-10-19

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Athens: Cyprus issue a priority

  • [01] Athens: Cyprus issue a priority

    NICOSIA (ANA-MPA / CNA) -- Greek and Cypriot leaders on Monday referred to a complete "identity of views" regarding the latest developments in the long-standing Cyprus problem, EU-Turkey ties as well as international and regional issues of particular interest to both Athens and Nicosia, following talks here between visiting Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and Cyprus President Demetris Christofias.

    The two leaders first met in private before being joined by attending delegations.

    On his part, Christofias expressed his congratulations to the newly elected premier of Greece, stressing that Athens is Cyprus' biggest supporter in "the struggle we are waging for a solution to the Cyprus problem, and our flawless cooperation and constant communication is necessary, as is common action."

    Both sides voiced their volition to continue cooperation to promote a solution to the Cyprus problem and to utilise the milestone of December, when Turkey's EU accession course will be assessed, Christofias and Papandreou said after official talks in Nicosia.

    Papandreou said his priority was to support the "tireless efforts" of Christofias for a just and viable solution of the Cyprus problem in the framework of UN decisions and in full harmonisation with the (EU) acquis communautaire.

    He added that both Greece and Cyprus believe that Turkey's EU course would be to their mutual benefit, and noted that he was not in favour of a special association of Turkey with the EU but supported Turkey's right to become a full member, as long as the country fulfils its obligations towards the EU and contributes towards a Cyprus settlement.

    Papandreou said it was necessary to utilise the European framework in the most effective way, adding that the European Council of December was important because Turkey's EU course would be objectively assessed.

    He assured that efforts would continue, with the aim of peace and cooperation among the peoples of the region, adding that the solution of the Cyprus problem should be just and viable.

    The Greek premier noted that during his first official meeting with Christofias they agreed to continue their close cooperation on the Cyprus problem, intensively until December and afterwards.

    "The message I have conveyed to the people of Turkey was that we want you to be a friendly country, a country which has the right to join the EU but also one which I will always be sincere with, talking about the problems which divide us and which we have to solve," he said.

    Papandreou added that one of those problems is the Cyprus issue and the fact that "there is still occupation in the Republic of Cyprus", adding that this is an issue which has to be resolved.

    Papandreou assured that efforts would continue, seeking peace and cooperation among the peoples of the region, adding that the solution of the Cyprus problem should be just and viable.


    While congratulating Papandreou on assuming his new duties Christofias also wished him every success, while expressing gratitude because Cyprus and its political problem would be a personal priority of the new Greek Prime Minister and the Athens government.

    Christofias said he had cooperated with Papandreou in the past, in trying times, adding that this cooperation would continue.

    The Cypriot president said talks focused on the latest developments in the Cyprus problem and relations between Turkey and the EU, and that they totally agreed on these issues.

    Christofias referred to the Cyprus problem and the efforts and will of the Greek Cypriot side to reach a solution of a bizonal, bicommunal federation, with political equality, based on UN resolutions and international and European law.

    He assured that he would continue to work for a solution with the same determination, adding that he expected a similar stance on behalf of the Turkish Cypriot side.

    Additionally, he said Turkey has to show good will and cooperation, noting that to date Ankara has done nothing, neither in the direction of a solution nor in fulfilling its obligations towards the EU, which include the normalisation of its relations with the Republic of Cyprus and the implementation of the Ankara Protocol for opening Turkish ports and airports to Cypriot vessels and aircraft.

    The Cypriot president said Cyprus and Greece support Turkey's European prospect but not unconditionally, and pointed out the need to utilise the December milestone.

    "Turkey's good will and cooperation is needed for the solution of the Cyprus problem. This is the key. Unfortunately, so far, and despite verbal statements by the Turkish leadership that it supports the solution efforts, in substance, Ankara has done nothing towards this direction", he stressed.

    "Turkey has undertaken obligations towards the EU and its member states concerning the Republic of Cyprus and the Cyprus issue and has to comply with these obligations, otherwise it cannot continue unhindered its accession course." he pointed out.

    The Cypriot president noted that during the talks with the Greek premier they discussed their moves until the December EU Council and agreed that decisions will be made ’at the proper time, having all possibilities before us".

    "Turkey, like every candidate country, has to fulfil its obligations. Our objective is not to punish Turkey, our aim is to utilise the December milestone and promote the solution of the Cyprus problem," he continued.

    Caption: Greek PM George Papandreou (L) with Cyprus President Demetris Christofias in Nicosia on Monday, Oct. 19, 2009. ANA-MPA / K. MAVRONA.

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