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Politics

Greece a Firm Supporter of Cyprus in Search for Fair Solution to the Cyprus Issue, FM Dendias

March 9, 2023

ATHENS – The Cyprus issue is a top national priority of Greek foreign policy, and Greece will continue its undivided support toward its resolution in a fair and viable manner, Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias said on Thursday after meeting with his Cyprus Republic counterpart Constantine Kombos in Athens.

At a joint press conference following Kombos’ first visit to Greece since taking office, Dendias said, “We continue our undivided support for the just and viable resolution of the Cyprus issue, based on the United Nations Security Council resolutions – in other words, a bicommunal, bizonal federation compatible with the European acquis.”

During the two FMs’ meeting, they discussed efforts to deter the upgrade of the pseudo-state internationally, reviewing actions that could be taken with the European Union, the United States, and strategic and regional partners, Dendias said. “Greece will continue to aid the Cyprus Republic in its effort to prevent a new status quo,” the Greek FM said, adding that “a basic parameter to seek a mutually acceptable resolution of the Cyprus issue is the Turkish stance.”

Among other issues, Dendias also mentioned the heartfelt response and solidarity other countries showed to Greece after the deadly train collision that resulted in at least 56 dead, and underlining that the decision by the governments of Albania and Cyprus to declare a national mourning were very touching. He also mentioned that Türkiye was among the countries to express solidarity, with his Turkish counterpart being the first to call him with condolences.

Referring also to Greece’s response to the disastrous earthquakes in Türkiye, FM Dendias said, “The tragic events in Greece and Türkiye have brought our two societies together and created a […] climate between us.” He added, “It is too soon to reach definite conclusions on whether this climate will be maintained at political level as well. But I believe we must utilize it to normalize Greek-Turkish relations, something that will positively impact efforts to resolve the Cyprus issue as well.”

During their talks the two FMs also discussed strengthening relations between Greece and Cyprus in specific sectors, trilateral and multilateral groups among countries in the East Mediterranean region, and the “Our Ocean 2024” conference that Greece is hosting. The latter will also be discussed when Cyprus President Nikos Christodoulides visits Athens.

Dendias, who is visiting New York next week to present Greece’s candidacy for a seat on the UN Security Council as an elected member for 2025-2026, also spoke of the Russian invasion of Ukraine as threatening Europe’s security and endangering global peace and stability. “Revisionism and expansionism must be defeated,” he underlined.

Kombos’ statements

Greece has supported Cyprus through history, Kombos said at the joint press conference, and the two countries shared the dream of reuniting Cyprus. “We will never accept divisionary solutions or two-country solutions on Cyprus, or other related and imaginary approaches of similar logic,” he underlined. “We hope that the initiatives that will be taken in the near future will create those conditions that allow the restart of talks,” he said, noting the key contribution of the European Union in that happening.

However, he said, “the illegality in the Varosha enclave continues. Ankara is moving at another level, creating new status quos. We remain on alert and stress that any other development besides the surrender of Varosha under the administration of the United Nations will comprise a violation of international legality.”

Greece and Cyprus have created automated and a multilevel mechanism for coordination and negotiations on bilateral and international level, and the two countries serve as pillars of stability in the East Mediterranean, bridging the regional countries with the EU. “We are working to further develop and deepen these relations, so that we may turn the East Mediterranean into an area of peace, stability, and collaboration,” FM Kombos said, adding that “threatening behavior such as Türkiye’s does not fit in such a vision.”

Referring to the Ukraine war, he said that Cyprus’ position “is very clear, we condemn the Russian invasion, reject every act that violates international law, and support the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine.”

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