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Cyprus Talks

Greek FM to visit Cyprus next week

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias arrives for the Conference on Cyprus

Greek Foreign Minister Nicos Kotzias will be in Cyprus from March 25 to 29, on the invitation of Archbishop Chrysostomos, it was announced on Friday.

Kotzias will attend the March 25 student parade to mark the start of Greece’s 1821 revolution against Ottoman rule.

On the 28th, the Greek minister will address an event on the anniversaries of March 25, 1821, and April 1, 1955, which marks the start of the Eoka struggle against the British, aiming at union with Greece.

The event is organised by the Archbishop Makarios foundation and will be attended by President Nicos Anastasiades.

During his stay, Kotzias will be received by Anastasiades, and will meet with his Cypriot counterpart, Ioannis Kasoulides, House Speaker Demetris Syllouris, and the local political leadership.

A controversial former member of the Greek communist party, before joining ruling Syriza, Kotzias came under fire during the crucial talks between Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci at Mont Pelerin, Switzerland, last November.

The talks were reportedly subverted when a non-paper by the Greek minister emerged, saying Greece would not attend an international conference on Cyprus if Turkey did not first agree that its agenda would be the removal of Turkish troops from Cyprus and the abolition of guarantees.

Despite persistent reports to the contrary, Anastasiades denied the incident had caused any dents in his relationship with Kotzias.

Next, Kotzias was said to have been unhelpful during the Geneva conference on Cyprus in January, first proposing that it continue in discussions between representatives of the three guarantor powers only – without the Cypriots – and then demanding a one-week break to the conference so that the representatives can be prepared for talks to follow.

Once more, Anastasiades denied he had any problems with Kotzias.

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