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Foreign minister praises Christofias' approach on Cyprus issue but sees slim hope of solution

Δημοσίευση 24 Ιανουαρίου 2011, 11:00 / Ανανεώθηκε 27 Ιουνίου 2013, 14:55
Foreign minister praises Christofias' approach on Cyprus issue but sees slim hope of solution
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The approach taken by Cyprus President Demetris Christofias was the only way to make any progress in negotiations to solve the Cyprus issue, Greece's Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas said in an interview to the Cyprus-based newspaper "Haravgi".

The approach taken by Cyprus President Demetris Christofias was the only way to make any progress in negotiations to solve the Cyprus issue, Greece's Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas said in an interview to the Cyprus-based newspaper "Haravgi".

"There is no other way apart from that being followed by President Christofias," Droutsas said to the newspaper. Just four days before a meeting between Christofias, Turkish-Cypriot community leader Dervis Eroglu and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon in Geneva on January 26, the Greek minister did not appear to hold much hope for a breakthrough, however, noting that the stance of the Turkish-Cypriot side did not allow "great expectations".

Droutsas appealed to Ankara to act responsibly and withdraw its occupation troops from Cyprus, rejecting Turkish arguments that a military presence was needed to protect the Turkish-Cypriots.

"There is no point in Turkey continuing to hide behind the referendum [on the Annan Plan in 2004] and treating the Cyprus issue as a communications game. The time has come for a solution," the minister stressed.

He also underlined that Christofias' proposals touched on the essence of the Cyprus problem and sought to speed up the process for its solution. Those of the Turkish-Cypriot proposals that had been made public, by contrast, "appear to move in the direction of division".

Commenting on Greece's relations with Turkey, the foreign minister emphasised that there could never be any dialogue on Greece's sovereign rights.

"The regime in the Aegean is not changing. Nor will Turkey's tactics in order to 'force us' into such a dialogue be tolerated," he underlined.