Athens, October 6, 2016/ Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
The Cyprus problem was the centre of talks held between Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides and Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, in Athens, yesterday.
The two officials discussed the latest developments concerning the negotiations on the Cyprus issue. With the launch of the new round of talks between Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci it is a critical time for the settlement of the issue.
“There are different procedures taking place for a solution to the Cyprus problem”, stated Kasoulides adding that “this requires regular consultation and information sharing with my friend, the Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, which is why I am here today.”
On his part Nikos Kotzias expressed his solidarity to the Cypriot people and stated that the “anachronistic system of guarantees must be terminated”. The Greek Foreign Minister stressed that “the turkish occupation troops must leave the island”.
Furthermore Kasoulides briefed his Greek counterpart, on contacts made in New York, in the framework of the General Assembly of the UN, on the Cyprus issue and also concerning the new agenda for the talks. On his side Nikos Kotzias will briefed his counterpart on the meeting between the Greek and Turkish missions in New York and what was discussed between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan on Cyprus.
Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, participated as keynote speaker at an event organised by the Federation of Greek Cypriot Organisations earlier on in the week.
The Cyprus issue at the Kotzias – Duncan meeting
The Cyprus issue was also the focus of a meeting held on Tuesday between Nikos Kotzias and British Minister of State responsible for European Affairs, Alan Duncan. Initially, the two ministers held a private meeting, followed by a working lunch, which was hosted by Mr. Kotzias for Mr. Duncan.
The Greek Foreign Minister had the opportunity to present Greek positions concerning the situation in Cyprus, the need for the removal of guarantees and the removal of Turkish troops as well as the need for a cooperation mechanism which will replace the existing anachronistic system of guarantees.
Where bilateral issues are concerned, the two ministers agreed to further foster cooperation between the two countries in the fields of research, investment and tourism, and also decided to have consultations and cooperation on issues concerning the Middle East.
Mr. Duncan expressed the willingness of his government to proceed with the implementation of the British referendum result, and his country’s willingness to continue cooperating with Greece on a bilateral level.
On the Greek side, the work of the Foreign Ministry’s working group and the Interministerial Committee for the examination of the impact of the British referendum was also discussed.
Finally, Mr. Kotzias presented the initiatives taken by Greece in the last year and a half, for example the Rhodes Conference on Security and Stability in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Interfaith Conference in Athens, and reassured the British Minister that Greece will continue the good relationship with Great Britain, which has always been a friend and ally. As the Greek FM emphasised, it is a relationship which Greece wants to strengthen, regardless of whether there will be a British exit from the EU or not.