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Greece, Cyprus ‘united like never before’

File photo of Pavlos Pavlopoulos in Cyprus with President Nicos Anastasiades

Unity between Greece and Cyprus is as solid as never before, Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos said on Thursday during a meeting with his Cypriot counterpart in Nicosia.

“Never before Greece and Cyprus, Cyprus and Greece, were so united,” Pavlopoulos said. “There is an excellent climate.”

Pavlopoulos, on the island to attend an event marking the name day of the island’s first president, archbishop Makarios, who died 40 years ago, also spoke about the ongoing efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem.

“Turkey must now choose if it wants to be sincere,” he said. “If it is sincere, it must accept a solution that would allow Cyprus to advance in the EU and the hard core, the Eurozone.”

Pavlopoulos said if Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots want a solution it could only be without occupation forces and guarantees.

“All these are completely outdated, not acceptable by the EU because they create dangerous precedents, as we all know,” the Greek president said. “We are making it clear … as European countries defending the course of the EU, its future and prospects, and in this we are united and the unity is solid.”

Pavolpoulos’ visit comes in the wake of talks in Geneva last week that ended prematurely amid reports that his country’s Foreign Minister Nicos Kotzias was to blame.

Reports had suggested that various parties, including the United Nations, had complained about his attitude during the Conference on Cyprus on guarantees and security.

Both countries have denied the reports and have sought to stress that they were closely cooperating on every step.

Welcoming Pavlopoulos, President Nicos Anastasiades said it was their common goal to achieve a solution that was compatible with the European Acquis, preserved the sovereignty of member-state, and at the same time safeguarded human rights without guarantors and troops stationed on the island.

“In this course we are together, in full agreement, full cooperation, and I want to hope that the other side will finally realize that it is not by uttering unacceptable positions that a mutually acceptable compromise can be achieved,” Anastasiades said.

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