Inaction on economy could be irreversible

Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyioannis has expressed support for efforts by Nicosia to solve the Cyprus issue, sending at the same time a clear message to Turkey that if it wishes to become a full member of the European Union, it should adopt fully EU principles and values.

Addressing the Economist Conference in Athens, Bakoyiannis said: “We support the political leadership of Cyprus in their effort to find a mutually accepted solution to the Cyprus problem, a solution that will be a solely ‘Cypriot’ solution”, she added.

Bakoyiannis, who chaired the round table discussion titled: “Organisation for Security & Co-operation in Europe”, reiterated that Greece supports the EU-NATO orientation of its neighbouring countries, and at the same time it promotes its national interests.

“Our position is that full accession to the EU requires full adoption of European principles and values. And we send this message to every direction. We send it to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and to Turkey as well”, she pointed out.

The Foreign Minister of Serbia Vuk Jeremic, Lord Howell of Guildford, Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Foreign Affairs Spokesman in the House of Lords, the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the European Communities, Ambassador Vladimir Chizhov, and the US Ambassador to Greece Daniel Speckhard, participated in the discussion.

The US Ambassador said that with the new US Administration, there has been a revival of the great regional challenges that reached a deadlock for a long time now.

We should continue to work on the important issues of the Aegean Sea, the Cyprus problem and the name of FYROM, but we should be pragmatists, he said.

The Cyprus question will also be discussed tomorrow in a roundtable discussion titled “the Cyprus question: back to the negotiating table”. Cyprus Presidential Commissioner Giorgos Iacovou will speak at the Conference.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. President Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat began UN-led direct negotiations for an agreed solution to the Cyprus problem since September 2008 and so far held 29 meetings.

Turkey does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus and has yet to meet its EU obligations towards Brussels, including those relating to Cyprus such as access to Cypriot flagged ships and aircraft to its ports and airports.

Financial Mirror, May 26, 2009 - by Christa Nicolaou (CNA)|||Bakoyiannis expresses Greek support for a Cyprus solution
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