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Athens positive towards five party conference

Outgoing Greek ambassador Ilias Fotopoulos

Athens is fully prepared to take part in a process which will contribute towards a Cyprus settlement, Greek Ambassador to Cyprus Ilias Fotopoulos said in an interview on Friday.

Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency on the occasion of the conclusion of his term in Cyprus, Fotopoulos noted the readiness of President Nicos Anastasiades to enter talks and expressed hope Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci demonstrates the same willingness.

Looking back at some of the highlights of his term in Cyprus, the Greek ambassador recalled the 2017 Conference on Cyprus in the Swiss resort of Crans Montana, saying that “we came very close” to a settlement, however Turkey was not prepared to take the necessary decisions in order to reach a deal.

Speaking about the current situation with regard to the Cyprus problem, Fotopoulos said Athens has an unwavering position, supporting and fighting along the Republic of Cyprus with the sole aim of settling the Cyprus problem.

“Athens is fully prepared to attend a process, which will contribute significantly towards a Cyprus settlement,” the Ambassador said, when asked about the possibility of attending a five-party conference on Cyprus.

He pointed, however, to the timing of this conference, saying that the place and time of a tripartite meeting between the UN Secretary-General and the leaders of Cyprus need to be finalised first.

The Ambassador made particular reference to a recent statement by Anastasiades, who reiterated his readiness to enter into dialogue, adding that it is important that the Greek Cypriot side expressed its position in such a bold manner.

“I hope the Turkish Cypriot leader also demonstrates the same willingness during a tripartite meeting and frees himself from the dictates of the motherland,” he said in a reference to Turkey.

Greece and Cyprus “don’t have a motherland” and act as two independent states which proceed in a coordinated manner to define their own path “without guidance,” Fotopoulos said.


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