Cyprus president Anastasiades and Greek FM Kotzias deny differences

Greece’s Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias received a visit from Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades shortly before the two men departed from Switzerland on Friday. During the meeting, Anastasiades thanked Kotzias in person for his support during the negotiations on Cyprus at the meeting in Geneva.

“Some had the two of us fighting,” Kotzias commented, referring to reports in the Friday press. Anastasiades laughed in response and commented that “not only did we not say a word between us but we are in absolute agreement.”

“This is not the first time that we have heard crazy things but we do not take them into account,” Anastasiades added, repeating that “there is absolute understanding.”

“The essence is this, do we have the cooperation that we should have? More than any other governments,” he commented.

“The issue we discussed, guarantees and security, we prepared together,” Kotzias said, with Anastasiades replying that this proposal was completed as “a combination of your idea for a friendship pact plus my own concerning the rest.”

Anastasiades visited Kotzias shortly after the Greek foreign minister made a brief statement to the press regarding the results of the multilateral meeting on Cyprus.

“I must tell you that we averted a deliberately engineered failure of the meeting,” Kotzias told reporters and expressed his satisfaction that “for the first time in the history of the Cyprus issue in recent decades the issue of guarantees and security was put with clarity and was, in fact, a special issue at the negotiating table.”

The Greek foreign minister stressed that the Greek side wants a solution that is just and has a firm foundation.
“As you know we had agreed with all the parties and with the UN that the process of the negotiation will be open and will not stop if there is an interruption. On this basis we agreed that it should continue in the form of experts – from the side of the Greek foreign ministry the general secretary – in the negotiation next week and when conditions are ripe it will be reconvened once more in the form of interministerial and other representatives,” he said.

The Greek minister said that the struggle and negotiation for a just solution to the Cyprus issue was continuing that this “this means, first of all, a solution and eradication of the causes of the problem, in other words the occupation and presence of occupation troops and the system of guarantees that was blatantly violated.”

Asked to comment on a statement made by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Greece had “fled” in Geneva, Kotzias replied that “Those fleeing are those that left. We are still here. The political discussion was scheduled for today.”