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Source: Republic of Greece – Foreign Affairs

“Dear Nikos, First of all, it is always a great pleasure to be here in Cyprus. I would like to thank you for your hospitality, which is always very warm.  My visit today, as Nikos said, is part of the ongoing coordination between Greece and Cyprus on all levels. It is taking place at a critical time for all Hellenism and for Europe in general. The common denominator is Turkey’s illegal and provocative behaviour. Through its actions in the wider region, Turkey is threatening peace, security and stability. It is trying to create faits accomplis, while at the same time trying to avoid measures being taken against it. In the context of this coordination, I had the honour of being received by the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Anastasiades. I briefed him on the initiatives being taken, ahead of the European Council meeting, by the Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, and by me. Nikos and I focused on the upcoming talks in the EU Foreign Affairs Council, and we looked in general at the whole framework of EU-Turkey relations. As I have stressed repeatedly, this past October the European Council gave Turkey an opportunity to de-escalate tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean and the wider region. And the Council did this so that we could create a positive agenda with Turkey. Unfortunately – though not surprisingly, I must say – Turkey did exactly the opposite. In the space of a few weeks, it issued six illegal Navtexs to carry out seismic surveys in an area that overlaps the Greek continental shelf in the Eastern Mediterranean. At the same time – Nikos mentioned this, as well – it proceeded to provocative actions, with the so-called “picnic” in Varosha and the issuing of an illegal Navtex for surveys in a maritime area that includes the Cypriot Exclusive Economic Zone. Turkey’s last-minute moves towards supposed de-escalation are unconvincing. For this reason, we have jointly called on the other states of the European Union to fulfil their responsibilities. They must make decisions that will set Turkey on a real path of de-escalation and of constructive dialogue on the only basis that we can accept: On the basis of International Law and the Law of the Sea. And these decisions are important, not only as a clear signal to Turkey, but as proof of the European Union’s credibility. Allow me to conclude by saying a few words about Cyprus, which continues to be a top priority of Greek foreign policy.A few days ago, the UN Secretary-General’s special envoy on the Cyprus issue, Mrs. Lute, visited Athens. She met with the Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.In the context of these meetings, it was stressed that Greece is prepared to participate in the informal five plus one meeting to be convened by the UN Secretary-General. And we stated our readiness for the resumption of the negotiation process. But from where the negotiations left off in Crans Montana, in July 2017, and based on what was agreed during the meeting between President Anastasiades and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr. Akinci, in Berlin in November 2019. We also reiterated to her, in the clearest possible terms, our condemnation of Turkey’s unilateral actions in Varosha. Actions that are in flagrant violation of the resolutions of the UN Security Council. Finally, we once again underscored the need to find a comprehensive, just and viable solution to the Cyprus issue, and that this can be achieved only based on the Security Council resolutions and the European Acquis. My dear Nikos, thank you very much. Allow me to finish by expressing my best wishes for our name-day, the day after tomorrow, and of course also for your birthday. Thank you very much.”

MIL OSI Mediterranean News