PM Mitsotakis, President Anastasiades: The end of Turkish occupation a top priority for Cyprus

Greece deserves the renewed confidence of its creditors, and needs Cyprus to help in this effort, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Monday, in a joint press conference following his meeting in Nicosia with Cyprus Republic President Nicos Anastasiades.

Referring to reforms of the state’s organization, the reduction in real estate tax (ENFIA) and other initiatives, Mitsotakis also praised the reform efforts by Anastasiades on Cyprus.

Mitsotakis also said that the end of the Turkish occupation is the top priority for the island and stressed that a future resolution of the issue should abolish the outdated institution of guarantees. He also expressed his optimism over the future meeting of Anastasiades with the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, Mustafa Akinci.

Cyprus will have Greece’s and the EU’s support in any rise of tension in the region on energy issues, the premier said, referring to Turkish drilling in the island republic’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), and expressed support for trilateral collaborations active in the area, which he noted had been initiated during the government of Antonis Samaras and were continued by governments since.

Turkish transgression clearly violates the Cyprus Republic’s sovereign rights and also relates to the EU’s energy policy, which seeks to diversify energy in the East Mediterranean basin, he said. Greece affirms its support to Cyprus, he added, noting that Greece will respond in the framework of the EU and its decisions.

On his part, President Anastasiades said that both of them agreed that the restart of negotiations on the Cyprus issue “demands Turkey’s active contribution in creating the right climate, and in putting an end to illegal activities within Cyprus’ EEZ and in the plans for the sealed-off area in Famagusta.”

An acceptable solution to the Cyprus Republic would be a resolution based on EU principles, UN resolutions and Security Council decisions, without the outdated system of guarantees or the occupying army.

Nicosia is willing to support a resolution without winners and losers, Anastasiades said, one that will guarantee its effectiveness and viability and will safeguard the human rights of all legal citizens of Cyprus, without super-privileges for one community at the expense of the other.