Cyprus and Greece share identical views on the Cyprus problem, Katrougkalos tells CNA

Cyprus and Greece share identical views on the Cyprus problem, Greek Alternate Foreign Minister George Katrougkalos has stressed, in a statement to the Cyprus News Agency (CNA).

Katrougkalos, who made the statement after the Trilateral Ministerial Meeting of Cyprus, Greece and Jordan, held in Nicosia on Wednesday, also stressed the need for a very good preparation before the resumption of the negotiations on the Cyprus problem, with a view to have the best possible chances for a positive outcome.

The Greek Alternate FM, who was asked about the bilateral meeting he had with his Cypriot counterpart Nikos Christodoulides this morning, at the Foreign Ministry, and their discussion on the Cyprus problem, said that we have identical views with the Republic of Cyprus.

He went on to say that they are waiting to see which are the thoughts of the UNSG’s envoy on Cyprus, Jane Holl Lute.

Katrougkalos stressed that the Hellenic Republic emphasizes on the need to highlight the fact that the Cyprus problem is an international law issue, and to secure that the progress achieved in Crans Montana, concerning the the significant issue of guarantees and the non- presence of foreign troops on the island, will be reflected within the framework of the process which is underway for the formulation of the terms of reference, that will pave the way for the resumption of the negotiations on the Cyprus problem.

Lute, who concluded on Tuesday a round of meetings he had with the two sides in Cyprus and the other parties engaged in the process aiming to reach a comprehensive Cyprus settlement, had a meeting in New York with Katrougkalos on December 12. She is expected to return to Cyprus at the beginning of 2019 to continue discussions with a view to clinch an agreement on the terms of reference between the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot side.

Asked if he is optimistic that it will be possible for the terms of reference to be formulated, Katrougkalos said that we want at least to have a very good preparation this time with a view to have the best possible chances for a positive outcome.

Referring to the trilateral cooperation schemes which Cyprus and Greece have been developing, Katrougkalos said that the Hellenic Republic and the Republic of Cyprus promote many such schemes in the region because we do not want just to be pillars of stability, we want to export this stability while pursuing peace and welfare for our peoples.

He noted that cooperation with Jordan is of particular importance towards this direction, adding that the Ministers of Cyprus, Greece and Jordan had very important talks today.

He went on to say that he considers today’s Trilateral Meeting as particularly successful, adding that it has prepared the ground for the Trilateral Summit that will take place during the first half of 2019.

Moreover, he recalled that Cyprus, Greece and the Palestine had a Trilateral Ministerial Meeting on Monday in Athens, while a Trilateral Summit among Cyprus, Greece and Israel will take place on Thursday in Beersheba.

He said that all of these developments show the multidimensional foreign policy we’ve been following, and that we are trying to be a factor of peace, and at the same time promote economic cooperation and the economic welfare of our peoples.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.

Source: Cyprus News Agency