Nicosia aims to use all the diplomatic means at its disposal so that Turkey can be convinced that the situation it is creating by drilling in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone is not sustainable, government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said on Sunday.
Speaking at a memorial service for an Eoka hero, Prodromou said the focus of Monday’s visit by Greek Prime Minister Kyriacos Mitsotakis, would be reaffirming Nicosia and Athens common course on the Cyprus issue.
It was particularly important as it would be Mitsotakis’ first visit as PM and coincides with a critical period when it comes to the challenges Cyprus and Greece are both facing, he said.
The Greek PM will be accompanied by the foreign and energy ministers, and the government spokesman.
“Greece’s position like that of the Greek Cypriot side, is ever in favour of a solution of the Cyprus problem through negotiations, in accordance with UN resolutions and on the basis of EU principles and international law,” said the spokesman.
The focus now would be how to handle “the daily actions and approaches of the Turkish side”.
Prodromou said it was no coincidence that President Nicos Anastasiades was seeking to resume the talks, “unfortunately without any response from the Turkish side, for two years now.
Asked about possible timetables for a new process, the spokesman said it was not an issue of timetables but of political will.
“If there is a political will from Turkey, the time will be shortened. What is constantly lacking is Turkey’s political will,” he said.
Prodromou said the period from August 9 until the UN General Assembly in September in New York when the leaders are expected to meet UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, “will be decisive”.
Asked whether Guterres’ special envoy Jane Holl Lute would visit Cyprus during this period, Prodromou said “most likely”.
“We hear daily from the Turkish side and from the occupied areas, unfortunately, that negotiations cannot start from where we left off [in Crans-Montana]. This is because they are pursuing another solution and they are not saying it.”
“Our aim is to use all the diplomatic means by which Turkey can be persuaded to realise that this state of affairs, which it tries to create arbitrarily, is no longer sustainable and that is finding itself in deeper isolation in the region,” he added.