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Cyprus, Greece on the same page on regional issues says Kasoulides (Updated)

Foreign minister, Ioannis Kasoulides

Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides on Wednesday discussed ways of dealing with “Turkish provocations and aggression” with his Greek counterpart Nicos Dendias in Athens before meeting with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

Greece was the first official stop for Kasoulides in his reprised role of foreign minister after Nikos Christodoulides resigned on January 11.

In statements after the meeting, Kasoulides said he and Dendias had the opportunity to exchange views on a wide range of issues, including bilateral relations, the Cyprus issue, addressing Turkish challenges, further deepening and optimisation of multilateral cooperation formations, as well as other regional, European and international issues of common interest.

With regard to bilateral relations, Kasoulides said they were clear and unambiguous.

“Cyprus and Greece maintain an automatic coordination and consultation mechanism. Both on national issues and on issues on our European and regional agenda,” he said.

The pair also reviewed the prevailing situation in the turbulent geographical basin of the Eastern Mediterranean, “where Cyprus and Greece remain stable pillars of security and stability”.

It was for precisely for this reason that both countries had pioneered and continued to work towards strengthening trilateral cooperation with other countries in the region, he said.

“In this context, we discussed possible ways of dealing with Turkish provocation and aggression, as it manifests itself against Cyprus and Greece,” Kasoulides said.

He said the constant violations of international law, UN resolutions and the “ongoing hybrid tactics of Turkey create a difficult environment that we have to deal with”.

“As far as we are concerned, we will continue to follow the path of rationality, which is none other than the path of international law, international treaties, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the European authorities, and values.”

Kasoulides said the goal was and remains the resolution of the Cyprus issue, on the agreed basis of the bizonal bicommunal federation, according to the UN resolutions.

Dendias, in his comments reaffirmed Greece’s support for Cyprus.

He said Turkish provocations were now accompanied by an increase in aggressive rhetoric, something Athens would raise with the EU and in international fora.

“On our part, we reiterate our intention for a sincere and constructive dialogue with respect to international law and the Law of the Sea,” he said.

He stressed that the cooperation between Greece and Cyprus was not just focused on a single issue but covered a wide range of topics, especially the strengthening of trilateral and multilateral cooperation.

Kasoulides later met with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who congratulated him on the assumption of his duties “after two previous, long and, by all accounts, successful terms”.

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