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Cyprus

President keeps mum about talk with Mitsotakis after Erdogan meeting

ÐôÄ – eãêáßíéá Êüìâïõ ÁóôéêÞò Áåéöïñßáò nous “knowledge hub of strovolos”

President Nikos Christodoulides on Friday kept mum about his conversation with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis following a visit to Athens by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.

Speaking after visiting the NOUS Urban Sustainability Hub and commenting on his chat with Mitsotakis, the president said: “He informed me, you realise that I cannot make public what the Greek prime minister has told me.”

He added that they spoke immediately after Erdogan’s visit.

Commenting further on upcoming discussions, the president said that he will speak about the Cyprus problem with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Saturday, and that on Monday he will see Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar at social event hosted by Unficyp head Colin Stewart.

On his social meeting with Tatar, he said: “I hope we will have the opportunity to discuss the prospect of resuming talks, and I consider the appointment, when it is announced – I do not officially know the reaction of the Turkish side – to work in such a way as to create the prospects for the resumption of talks.”

Asked to say if something different emerges after the meeting between Mitsotakis and Erdogan or if everything is still the same, he said that “There is nothing to say publicly. Everything and all of us will be judged by the results”.

The president said that he will also discuss the humanitarian aid corridor for Gaza with Guterres.

“This tragedy continues in our area, it is tragic, and it should stop immediately,” he said.

In an interview with the Kathimerini newspaper on Wednesday ahead of his visit to Athens, Erdogan mentioned Cyprus, when discussing the hydrocarbons in the eastern Mediterranean.

On Thursday, he repeated the proposal for co-exploitation of the energy resources in the maritime area of Cyprus “until a comprehensive solution is reached on the island”.

“I will tell him, Kyriakos, my friend, we don’t threaten you if you don’t threaten us,” Erdogan told Kathimerini, adding that Athens and Ankara could solve their problems without foreign intervention.

He said cooperation could be enhanced in sectors including the economy, transport, energy and migration, where Turkey needed the support of the European Union, and that the renewed electoral mandate both leaders received this year could help the two countries make constructive progress.

The two leaders hope the meeting can turn a new page in relations after years of tensions.

Greece and Turkey, neighbours and Nato allies, have been at odds for decades over issues including where their continental shelves start and end, energy resources, overflights of the Aegean Sea, and ethnically-split Cyprus.

Over the past years they have argued over energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean, defence issues, migration and the acquisition of fighter jets, which paused diplomatic talks.

Relations improved after Greece sent aid to Turkey following a devastating earthquake in February. Both Erdogan and Mitsotakis’ re-elections this year also eased political pressure and allowed them to put rivalry aside.

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