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Tsipras says important to continue Cyprus efforts

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras believes that for the first time the conditions for a solution of the Cyprus problem are present despite developments on Monday evening in Mont Pelerin.

Greece was closely developments he said in an address to the Greek parliament on Wednesday evening.

Tsipras said that for the first time, the conditions are there for a settlement of the Cyprus problem, despite Monday’s outcome, which he said was a setback.

The second round of talks on territory between President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, that took place in Switzerland, reached a dead end on Monday after the two sides failed to reach an agreement on the issue.

“The Greek government is in constant and close contact with the Cypriot one and monitors closely the progress of the consultations without interfering,” Tsipras said.  He added that the only issue where Greece will express its opinion and will have the right to act is the issue of guarantees and security.

Any agreement reached, Tsipras said, will be left to the judgement of the Cypriot people. He added that Anastasiades informed him on the outcome of the talks on Tuesday, “and on the reasons, that did not allow an agreement on the consultations in Switzerland on territory and property”.

The Greek prime minister said that they agreed with Anastasiades that there was no point – nor was it their intention – to play the blame game. “What’s important is for the effort to continue and to carefully define the next steps for positive developments soon on this front,” Tsipras said.

The Cyprus problem, he said, is an international one of illegal invasion and occupation of the northern part of the island.

He added that the Greek government, following the established national strategy, supported the effort of the two communities to reach a solution within the framework of UN resolutions but also in the framework of the status of Cyprus as an EU member-state.

On Tuesday, the Greek government leaked that a meeting between Tsipras and Erdogan would take place on December 4 to discuss, among other issues, security and guarantees.

The meeting had been tentatively finalised during the hectic two days of talks at Mont Pelerin by the end of which the two sides expected to reach agreement thus paving the way for an international conference on Cyprus.

But state broadcaster CyBC’s correspondent in Turkey, citing unnamed Turkish officials, reported that the meeting had been agreed to on the understanding that the Cyprus talks would have moved forward in Switzerland and that it is not clear whether it is still on following Monday’s developments.



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