Our position towards Cyprus constitutes a duty for us, Greek FM says

Athens’ position on Cyprus is a duty Greece has to fulfill, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias said on Saturday, adding that “we strive consistently so that all Greek Cypriots feel safe to the greatest possible extent in their homeland and that Turkish Cypriots and the three smaller communities in Cyprus enjoy their rights to the maximum possible degree.”

Addressing a reception in Nicosia, at the Greek Ambassadors residence, on the occasion of the Greek Independence Day, Kotzias said that Cyprus needs a viable and effectively functioning settlement and this has always been a priority for Greece.

On his part, addressing the event, Cyprus Foreign Minister Kasoulides thanked the Greek government for its support and its constructive efforts for a viable and functional settlement of the Cyprus problem without anachronistic military guarantees systems and without foreign troops.

He assured that “on our part we will continue to support Greece with all our strength, both at the bilateral level and within the EU, to address the challenges it faces.” Such a challenge, as he noted, is the big influx of migrants who arrive in Greece.

Cooperation between the two countries, he said, is probably more productive now than ever before on a bilateral, regional and multilateral level, noting that trilateral cooperation which the two countries have developed with other countries in the Eastern Mediterranean is proof of their governments excellent relations.

The reception was attended by Archbishop Chrysostomos, members of the political leadership, foreign ambassadors, other officials and dozens of people who congratulated Kotzias, Greek Ambassador Elias Photopoulos and other officials of the Greek Embassy.

In his address Kotzias said that many people thanked him for his stance on the Cyprus problem and that he wants to reiterate that “our position towards Cyprus is our duty”, adding that he was moved when he earlier watched the students parade in Nicosia.

“We must consistently pursue what is right and just, not only for us, but for the others as well,” he said and noted that the Greek revolution of 1821 was successful because it was linked to an international solidarity movement “something which dictates to us as Foreign Ministers that we must do our best to be understood.”

The Greek Foreign Minister noted that “we also feel that we have a duty towards Cyprus because we were not able to prevent (the Greek) Junta”, adding that “we always feel the need to say that we are sorry for the crimes which some people committed.”

In his address, Kasoulides said that the 25th of March gives Cyprus the strength to continue its struggle, having the support of Greece, adding that today’s anniversary is an ideal which highlights the values and ideas which Greece and the Greeks have defended.

Kasoulides expressed on behalf of all Cypriots Cyprus support to the immense effort which the Greek government and people have undertaken to deal with the financial crisis and move towards sustainable development and not based just on her lenders orders.

Referring to the trilateral cooperation which the two countries have developed with countries of the region, he noted that it aims at the political, social and financial development of the region and already has concrete results.

Kasoulides expressed certainty that this excellent cooperation between Cyprus and Greece will continue to bloom during the next years, highlighting further the importance of the role which the two countries can play in the Southeastern Mediterranean region.

UN-led efforts are underway to reunite Cyprus, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.

Source: Cyprus News Agency