Emphasis on Athens-Nicosia Cooperation at Tsipras, Anastasiades Meeting

Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, right, welcomes the Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades at Maximos Mansion in Athens, Monday, Sept. 17, 2018. Despite the end of its bailouts, Greece remains under scrutiny from its creditors, who will carry out quarterly reviews. Standard & Poor's has raised Cyprus' credit grade by a notch to BBB-, lifting the country back into investment grade after near-bankruptcy five years ago. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

ATHENS – Meeting in Athens on Monday, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades both emphasised the very close cooperation between Athens and Nicosia as a tool for promoting a just solution for Cyprus and in establishing broader regional cooperation.

“There is always close communication between our two governments,” Tsipras said in statements before the cameras as he received Anastasiades, before the start of their meeting. The Cypriot president, on his part, noted that “our very close cooperation is the foundation for the efforts we are making to tackle both the Cyprus issue and other problems faced by the two countries.”

Tsipras noted that opportunities for discussion with Anastasiades also arose during their meetings at summits and added that: “throughout this time we had the opportunity to make plans at close quarters for stability and peace in the wider region and to create the conditions for a fair and viable solution to the Cyprus issue.”

“I think that our steadfast stance has created the conditions for a broader support from international players for our efforts and for the recognition of this stance,” he said.

Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, right, speaks with the Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades during their meeting at Maximos Mansion in Athens, Monday, Sept. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

He also offered Anastasiades his assurance that in the new period they were now entering, when there had to be a discussion on the new challenges that had arisen and the way that these could be best tackled, “the Greek government and Greeks will always have confidence in the Cypriot government and the Cypriot people for their choices.”

Anastasiades also agreed that the close cooperation developed by Athens and Nicosia in recent years had helped create broader regional and wider cooperation, and to “place the Cyprus issue on the right basis once again, in aspects that are important for the future.”

He also emphasised the importance of meetings held in Athens and Nicosia, noting that these gave an “additional dimension” to this cooperation, and said the meeting on Monday will allow them to examine an entire range of issues ahead of the United Nations General Assembly and brief each other concerning developments related to the Cyprus issue, as well as to discuss their various trilateral and quadrilateral initiatives in the region.

“Let us hope that developments in New York are such that they help in starting a creative dialogue once again, provided the Secretary General finds that the conditions are right,” he added.

Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, right, welcomes the Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades at Maximos Mansion in Athens, Monday, Sept. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, right, welcomes the Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades at Maximos Mansion in Athens, Monday, Sept. 17, 2018. Despite the end of its bailouts, Greece remains under scrutiny from its creditors, who will carry out quarterly reviews. Standard & Poor’s has raised Cyprus’ credit grade by a notch to BBB-, lifting the country back into investment grade after near-bankruptcy five years ago. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, right, welcomes the Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades at Maximos Mansion in Athens, Monday, Sept. 17, 2018. Despite the end of its bailouts, Greece remains under scrutiny from its creditors, who will carry out quarterly reviews. Standard & Poor’s has raised Cyprus’ credit grade by a notch to BBB-, lifting the country back into investment grade after near-bankruptcy five years ago. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)