Mitsotakis: A viable solution to the Cyprus problem is a top priority of Greek foreign policy

“The end of the Turkish occupation and finding a viable solution [for Cyprus] are top priorities of Greek foreign policy and constitute a national issue. An act of justice for the Cypriot people,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Monday in joint statements with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, following their meeting at the Presidential Mansion in Cyprus.

“We remain committed to the decisions of the United Nations, as well as to the foundation of the European acquis throughout the territory of Cyprus”, Mitsotakis stressed, explaining that “the only viable solution is a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with political equality. A state with one international personality, sovereignty and citizenship and guaranteed territorial integrity for the Republic of Cyprus.”

“Unfortunately, the stance adopted by Turkey and the Turkish-Cypriot leader is outside this framework, insisting on the groundless solution of two states, which is rejected by the UN and the EU. Turkey and Tatar should know that the resumption of a meaningful dialogue is conceivable only within the existing framework,” he said and added:

“Greece is present at the exploratory talks for the delineation of maritime zones. We come with a sincere attitude and zero naivety. There, Turkey’s consistency will be tested. Greece has demonstrated in practice that good neighbourly relations and respect for international law can resolve long-standing differences. We have proved it through the agreements with Italy and Egypt.”

“The trilateral cooperation schemes are schemes of peace and do not exclude anyone,” the Greek prime minister explained.

Referring to the coronavirus vaccine, he said: “It is necessary for the EU to procure the vaccine doses agreed with the pharmaceutical companies as soon as possible.”

He added that “we also discussed with Cyprus’ president the issue of how we could facilitate travellers,” referring to his proposal for a EU-wide vaccination certificate.

On his part, the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, said: “The solution of the Cyprus problem cannot deviate from the Security Council resolutions and European values.”

“Our common position is that the determination to engage in a process of dialogue does not negate the need for a creative climate,” Anastasiades said, adding that “Turkey’s contribution to creating a suitable climate is needed, by ending unilateral actions that will lead to the opposite of the expected result.”

After thanking the Greek prime minister for Athens’ support, Anastasiades noted: “We want to see Turkey proving through actions that it wants a sincere and constructive dialogue, far from unilateral actions. We want to believe that the EU will show solidarity. I thank my friend Kyriakos for the comprehensive briefing on the exploratory talks. It is our shared belief that dialogue should be limited to the official agenda.”

He added: “The trilateral groups in the wider region prove that Greece and Cyprus are pillars of stability and peace, without excluding anyone.”