“Your visit coincides with a period of crisis, which is the result of Turkish aggressiveness, of the Turkish illegal actions both in the Aegean and in the Eastern Mediterranean,” Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said to visiting President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou on Monday.
During their meeting, Αnastasiades underlined that without Greece’s calm reaction, the series of illegal actions on Turkey’s part would have inevitably led to undesirable – for people that love peace – situations in the region.
Welcoming Sakellaropoulou at the presidential mansion , Anastasiades said that the problems of Greece and Cyprus are Europe’s problems because both countries’ borders are also Europe’s borders.
On her part, Sakellaropoulou said that her visit to Cyprus is indicative of the special relationship that binds the two countries and of the importance that Greece places on the Cyprus issue. “It is obviously a very difficult conjucture,” she underlined, adding: “My visit here points out that both countries have a single and solid diplomatic front, always guided by the shared national interests and always based on international law. We have seen difficult times to which you also referred and nobody can guarantee that they are over. The withdrawal of the Oruc Reis is a step toward de-escalation but it remains to be proved whether this was a tactical move with a short-term goal or a choice with depth and continuity.”
“My visit here to Cyprus is indicative of the top position that the Cyprus issue occupies in our foreign policy but also, Cyprus is in my heart,” President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou stated on Monday, in statements after meeting Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades/
After her meeting with Anastasiades, there followed meetings between the two countries’ delegations.
Later, Anastasiades decorated Sakellaropoulou with the Grand Collar of the Order of Makarios III, the highest decoration bestowed by the Republic of Cyprus.
On her part, Sakellaropoulou warmly thanked Anastasiades and stated that her presence here indicates that Greece and Cyprus have a solid and united diplomatic front, whose guidelines are their national interest and full respect for international law.
“With President Anastasiades we discussed the latest developments and particularly the repercussions of Turkey’s illegal behaviour on the EU itself. We also discussed the most appropriate ways for the EU to respond in order to bring about the end of this behaviour, which continues even today, violating Cyprus’ sovereign rights,” Sakellaropoulou said, adding that their meeting was held just three days ahead of the EU summit on September 24 and 25, in which Anastasiades will participate.
The withdrawal of Oruc Reis was a positive step but it remains to be seen whether this will continue, she noted, adding that the discussion with Anastasiades also touched on the prospects for a solution to the Cyprus issue, and Greece’s readiness to contribute if the necessary conditions prevail to restart the dialogue with Turkey, which was interrupted in July 2017.