Gerapetritis: Euro-Turkish progress presupposes full respect for Cyprus’ sovereignty

“Turkiye must respect the European acquis, which fully includes the participation at all levels of the Republic of Cyprus,” Foreign Minister George Gerapetritis stressed on Friday in an interview with “Kanali Ena”, commenting on the conclusions of the European Council, which link the progress of EuroTurkish relations with developments in the Cyprus issue.

“I think it goes without saying that the progress of EuroTurkish relations must mean full respect for the sovereignty and rights of the member-state, that is, the Republic of Cyprus,” he pointed out.

As he noted, the EU and Turkiye are in a discussion phase so that there can be a productive cooperation. “It is to the benefit of both Europe and Turkiye that it should have a Western orientation. I think this will have positive effects with respect to our bilateral relations, i.e. Greece vis-à-vis Turkiye and also in relation to the Cyprus issue,” he said. “It goes without saying that when we talk about an international, a supranational organisation, such as the EU, in which Greece and Cyprus already participate, the member-states are the ones who largely define the agenda,” he stressed.

The foreign minister pointed out that the rapprochement being attempted between Greece and Turkiye is a “historical necessity”:

“The two countries are neighbors, they are forced to live together due to their vicinity and therefore we should try to have a peaceful neighborhood. This does not mean, however, that we will have a continuous linear course forward. It is certain that there will be moments in which we will also have some backtracking in the relationship that is unfolding. There will be issues that also create tension for us.”