President Nikos Christodoulides, Israeli and Greek Prime Ministers Benjamin Netanyahu and Kyriakos Mitsotakis expressed serious concern over recent actions in the buffer zone near Pyla, underlining the need to avoid any further unilateral or escalatory actions that could raise tensions and harm the prospects for a settlement.
Their statements came on the back of the Cyprus-Israel-Greece three-way meeting at the presidential palace on Monday.
“We agreed that a settlement which will reunify the island, based on the respect of democratic principles, human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Cypriots, would not only benefit the people of Cyprus in its entirety, but also significantly contribute to the peace and stability of the region,” the three leaders said in a joint statement.
“We firmly and unequivocally condemn all forms of terrorism, as well as incitement to violence and hatred.”
The resumption of talks to solve the Cyprus problem was also at the centre of a tete a tete between Christodoulides and Mitsotakis earlier on Monday.
In welcoming Mitsotakis, Christodoulides underlined that the trilateral mechanism falls within the framework of regional collaborations that highlight the roles Cyprus and Greece as EU member states can play in the Eastern Mediterranean region.
“We will have the opportunity to discuss both the Cyprus problem and Greek-Turkish relations. I consider September and October to be pivotal months for the direction of these issues,” Christodoulides said. “The UN General Assembly, the meetings we will have, and the European Council in October are of utmost importance.”
He also reiterated his readiness for the resumption of talks and stressed the potential benefits for all parties involved.
“Cyprus is committed to cooperating with all its neighbours based on international law and mutually beneficial solutions for all the peoples of the region,” Christodoulides said.
Mitsotakis said that Greece, Cyprus and Israel represent pillars of stability in the Eastern Mediterranean, adding that “the trilateral partnership has stood the test of time and has demonstrated its benefits on both political and economic levels, as well as in other areas.”
He echoed Christodoulides’ approach concerning the Cyprus problem, emphasising its utmost importance and the need to restart talks within the framework of UN resolutions.
“Greece will always steadfastly support this position. The coming months will also be crucial for Greek-Turkish relations,” Mitsotakis said, adding that the recent developments allow for some cautious optimism.