Cyprus solution imperative due to southeastern EU border security situation, Greek Premier tells counterparts

The security situation at the EUs southeastern border makes it imperative to resolve the Cyprus issue, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Friday, addressing a press conference in Brussels after the EU Summit.

In particular, Alexis Tsipras said that he had the opportunity to inform the European Council about the outcome of Erdogans visit in Athens, “although I found that most of them had followed statements and dialogs with President Erdogan”, as he said.

He explained that he had the opportunity to inform his counterparts about the substance of Erdogans visit, “a visit which, in my view, was necessary because, despite the fact that there are very big differences with the Turkish President, we must keep the channels open to try to find convergences that are very critical, not only for Greek-Turkish relations, but also for EU-Turkey relations”.

“The wider region is a region that is plunging into destabilization, so support for the south-eastern European borders is becoming increasingly important for Europes own security as well as for the management of the refugee flows of the population that seek to enter the EU”, said Alexis Tsipras to the Press.

“At the same time, security challenges in the eastern Mediterranean highlight the need for a viable solution to the Cyprus problem even more urgently, certainly within the framework of UN resolutions and without Turkish guarantees”, the Greek Prime Minister stressed.

“The need for peace, respect for international law and cooperation in the Aegean and the Mediterranean is Europe’s stake, which is more important today than ever before”, he stressed. “In this context, I welcomed the fact that the EU, Germany and Bulgaria responded to Turkey over Erdogan’s statements on the revision of the Lausanne treaty” Tsipras explained, referring to his trilateral talks with the Commission President, the German Chancellor and the Bulgarian Prime Minister.

Furthermore Alexis Tsipras, stressed the importance for the EU to intensify cooperation with Turkey under the EU-Turkey Agreement, especially at this time, and convey the necessary signals to Turkey for respect of international law in the Aegean, as well as for the resumption of talks regarding a just and viable solution to the Cyprus issue.

Finally, he announced that he will intensify contacts over the next period, both at European level and in the wider region. “In January, I will visit Rome for the Summit of the European countries of the South, while I will visit Cyprus for the tripartite talks with Israel and Jordan, while we are preparing the Tripartite with Palestine,” Tsipras concluded.

Source: Cyprus News Agency