Sakellaropoulou: Cyprus Issue a Top Foreign Policy Priority for Greece

Αssociated Press

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, right, and Greece s President Katerina Sakellaropoulou talk to the media during a press conference after their meeting at the presidential palace in Nicosia, Cyprus, Monday, Sept. 21, 2020. (Iacovos Hadjistavrou/Pool via AP)

NICOSIA -- "My visit here to Cyprus is indicative of the top position that the Cyprus issue occupies in our foreign policy but also, Cyprus is in my heart," President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou stated on Monday, in statements after meeting Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, during her two-day official visit to the island republic.

After her meeting with Anastasiades, there followed meetings between the two countries' delegations.

Later, Anastasiades decorated Sakellaropoulou with the Grand Collar of the Order of Makarios III, the highest decoration bestowed by the Republic of Cyprus.

On her part, Sakellaropoulou warmly thanked Anastasiades and stated that her presence here indicates that Greece and Cyprus have a solid and united diplomatic front, whose guidelines are their national interest and full respect for international law.

"With President Anastasiades we discussed the latest developments and particularly the repercussions of Turkey's illegal behaviour on the EU itself. We also discussed the most appropriate ways for the EU to respond in order to bring about the end of this behaviour, which continues even today, violating Cyprus' sovereign rights," Sakellaropoulou said, adding that their meeting was held just three days ahead of the EU summit on September 24 and 25, in which Anastasiades will participate.

The withdrawal of Oruc Reis was a positive step but it remains to be seen whether this will continue, she noted, adding that the discussion with Anastasiades also touched on the prospects for a solution to the Cyprus issue, and Greece's readiness to contribute if the necessary conditions prevail to restart the dialogue with Turkey, which was interrupted in July 2017.

Sakellaropoulou is visiting Cyprus, her first trip abroad, amid an intense diplomatic flurry within the European Union to de-escalate tensions over a Turkish hydrocarbons search in waters where Cyprus and Greece claim exclusive economic ties. 

(ANA/M. Kalogeraki)