FM Kotzias: Greece is bringing constructive proposals to the talks on Cyprus

In his address during the first part of a multilateral meeting on Cyprus held on Thursday, focusing on security issues and guarantees, Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias said that Greece intends to contribute constructive proposals that address the security concerns of both communities on the island and yield the maximum possible equality, diplomatic sources said.

Greece considers the guarantees’ regime outdated and believes that there cannot be guarantees and rights of intervention in an EU member-state, Kotzias added. He noted that the Turkish troops on the island must withdraw that a binding plan for their withdrawal was essential.

Security issues could be then covered by better policing on a state and federal level, with a federal and possibly international police force, he said.

The best guarantee, Kotzias added, was Cyprus’ membership of the EU since this guaranteed the rights of all, while he welcomed the presence of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini at the meeting, which he said illustrated the EU’s interest and potential role.

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Kotzias also thanked UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres for the UN’s efforts aiming at the reunification of Cyprus, while he referred to the political courage of Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci for their own efforts in this direction.

Greece’s foreign minister said that a solution must equally protect the rights of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots and the three minorities on the island. The Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots must feel security, he added, and repeated the need for a viable, functional and just solution to the Cyprus issue that was compatible with EU laws and regulations.

Kotzias said that Cyprus must become a beacon of stability and an example for all of the Middle East, noting that a solution would be a “shining example for all countries in the region and create conditions of prosperity.”

The future of Cyprus, as that of Turkey, lies within the EU, Kotzias concluded. “We believe in this and want to work for the reunification of the island so that Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots can dream, can feel that this is their country and can build the future of their children with security,” he said.