Greek Premier asks Turkish counterpart to contribute to a Cyprus solution

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has asked his Turkish counterpart Binali Yildirim to contribute towards a just and viable solution of the Cyprus problem. This, he added, would be particularly fruitful and constructive for both sides in these times of destabilization in the area.

Speaking after a meeting with Yildririm in Athens, Tsipras said that the Mediterranean should remain a sea of peace, and added that there should be a common agenda between the two countries, which will not be undermined with offensive acts on either side.

Yildirim said that in the Eastern Mediterranean his country has an issue with the use of energy resources, which belong to all humanity.

Turkey has more than often doubted the legality of the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus in the island’s territorial waters, and has also objected to Greece’s efforts to specify respective zones in the Aegean and down to the Cretan Ocean.

The Greek Prime minister outlined his country’s position on the solution of the Cyprus problem, especially on the issues of security and guarantees. A few days before the forthcoming Conference on Cyprus in Switzerland, it was announced today in Athens that both leaders agreed that the dialogue between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots should be kept alive. Tsipras and Yildirim agreed to maintain an open line of communication so that positive steps can be taken on the road to the summit.

Turkey’s PM responded that a solution to the Cyprus problem should be defined by absolute justice, which will safeguard, he added, the present and future of the two communities, in terms of safety.

Greece, Turkey and the UK are Guarantor Powers in Cyprus, and their role in the talks commencing in Switzerland next week is regarded crucial. Differences between Athens and Ankara, which influence the two communities on the island, are still wide and immovable, as a diplomat from a EU country in Greece told CNA today.

UN-facilitated talks are currently underway between Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci to reunite the country, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.

Source: Cyprus News Agency