NICOSIA — "We are coordinating our actions on a European level to take decisions that defend our national interests," Greek Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos said on Thursday from Cyprus.
Panagiotopoulos attended the military parade to mark the 60th anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Cyprus.
"With special honour and emotion we participate today, the political and military leadership of the Greek National Defence Ministry, in the celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the Independence of the Republic of Cyprus: Independence conquered by the Cypriot people with many struggles, self-sacrifice and heroism," he said and added:
"Today, this fight has evolved into a different, but not all that different fight. For a fair, sustainable and functional solution to the Cyprus problem. Without derogation from international and European principles and values with complete sovereignty, complete independence and territorial integrity. In our common course, we are called to face common challenges and threats, to defend our national rights and to send a strong message that Greece and Cyprus, Cyprus and Greece are factors for peace, security and stability in the wider region," he said.
"I want all Cypriot Hellenism to know that Greece stands firmly by its side, it is doing so today and will always do so with all its strength. Turkey's provocative and illegal activities within the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus, an EU member state, are a clear violation of international law," he said. "We are therefore coordinating our actions at a European level to take decisions that defend our national interests."