DM sharply criticises Erdogan comments on Cyprus

Visiting Greek Defense Minister Panos Beglitis on Wednesday characterized as “empty words” the threats made by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Turkey will freeze its EU accession negotiations during the Cypriot EU Presidency in the second half of 2012.  
Speaking on a local television station, Beglitis stressed that taking over the EU Presidency is a historic opportunity for the Republic of Cyprus.
He stressed that Cyprus and Greece should continue an aggressive policy on international level denouncing the Turkish intransigence and inconsistent stance.
Earlier the defense minister had met with Archbishop Chryssostomos. In statements made afterwards, he characterized the comments of the Turkish premier as “unacceptable”, adding that they display reluctance in solving the Cyprus problem.  
Referring to the 37th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 and the ongoing occupation of a large part of Cyprus by Turkish forces, Beglitis stressed that “everything possible should be done to avert the painful consequences of the invasion and occupation”.
He said that a solution should be reached within the framework of the UN based on UN and EU decisions, adding that the solution that will be found should “reunite the island, the Greek Cypriots with the Turkish Cypriots, without making any discounts and without compromises that are beyond what Hellenism can bear”.
Beglitis underlined that the issue of the Turkish occupation forces should be brought to the forefront and “we should show on every chance we get who is responsible for the situation and who has the political will to solve the Cyprus problem”.
Referring to the recent tragic accident in a Cypriot naval base, he underlined that despite its economic problems Greece will contribute to the efforts made for Cyprus’ recovery.  

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