Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyianni has stressed that only a bicommunal bizonal federation can help bring peace and security to Cyprus.
Speaking after talks with her Cypriot counterpart Markos Kyprianou, she also said that the road to a reunited, peaceful and prosperous Cyprus is not “a bed of roses” but it can be achieved.
The Minister expressed hope that sufficient progress is made at the ongoing talks between representatives of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities to allow substantive negotiations to begin, leading to a mutually acceptable solution.
«Only a bizonal, bicommunal federation can open widely the prospect of a settlement and provide the necessary momentum for a common, better future, for peace, development and security in Cyprus, without the illegal presence of the occupation troops, and without the right of intervention and the outdated system of guarantees by third countries,» Bakoyianni stressed.
The solution, she noted, must be in line with Security Council resolutions and EU principles.
“The road to achieve this goal, a reunited, peaceful, stable and prosperous European Cyprus, is not a bed of roses. We both believe in the struggle for a just, functional and viable settlement,” she added.
Referring to the latest developments in the Cyprus problem, Bakoyanni expressed hope for progress at the joint teams of experts (the working groups and the technical committees), to prepare the ground for substantive negotiations, leading to a comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem.
The Greek Foreign Minister reiterated the support of Greece to Cyprus. «Athens, as always, supports the efforts of the Republic of Cyprus, President Christofias and the Cyprus political leadership», she said.
On Ankara’s role in the Cyprus peace effort, she had this to say: “Ankara has a very important role to play, to encourage actively the Turkish Cypriot leadership to move in the right direction, that of moderation and constructive attitude.”
“Turkey cannot use domestic political concerns as an alibi for maintaining its long standing positions of suspicion and intransigence. No internal issue must be presented as an alibi for the absence of a substantive effort towards Cyprus settlement,” she said.
Replying to questions about the right of guarantee in Cyprus, she said, “A European united Cyprus has no need for old-fashioned guarantees and rights of intervention.”
Turkey, whose troops continue to occupy Cyprus’ northern part, is one of three guarantor powers of Cyprus’ independence. The other two are Greece and Turkey.
Regarding the Turkey’s EU course, she said that Turkey has the opportunity to join the EU, provided it fulfills all the criteria and the prerequisites set out by the Union.
In his remarks, Kyprianou noted the pivotal timing of Bakoyianni’s visit, the first since the election of the present government to power, and said they had a “very constructive discussion.”
“Greece affords Cyprus continuous political support, in practice, in particular on the question of Cyprus. We had the chance to discuss this national issue and other European matters we deal with,” he said.
Nicosia and Athens, he said, agreed on further cooperation and coordination on various issues, especially within the EU context.
Later on, Bakoyianni met the leaders of parliamentary political parties.
published by Cyprus News Agency