Greece will stand by Cyprus, Greek Deputy State Minister says

Greece will stand by Cyprus, Greek Deputy State Minister says

Greek Deputy State Minister Terence Quick has assured House of Representatives President Yiannakis Omirou that Greece will always stand by Cyprus.

In statements after a meeting they had on Thursday, Quick recalled that Greek Foreign Minister Nicos Kotzias is going to visit Ankara on Monday. He referred to a speech Kotzias delivered recently noting that he said that it cannot be said that a solution to the Cyprus problem exists while there are still Turkish occupation forces on the island.

“All Turkish soldiers must leave”, he said.

Referring to the fact that there is a new Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, he said that it is important”.

He assured that the Greek government led by Alexis Tsipras in coalition with the leader of his own party Panos Kammenos “will always stand by Cyprus” and will act to guarantee Cyprus` best interests.

On his part Yiannakis Omirou said that during their meeting they both concluded that “the solution of the Cyprus problem constitutes a common goal.”

However, he reiterated that such a solution should be based on the principles of international and European law, it should end the Turkish military occupation of Cyprus, will see illegal Turkish settlers leave the island, will abolish anachronistic guarantees put in place in 1960 will see the Republic of Cyprus evolve to a federal democratic state, which will fully respect human rights and basic freedoms.

Omirou referring to the selection of Mustafa Akinci in the position of Turkish Cypriot leader he warned that nobody should be under the illusion that decisions are taken at the Turkish Cypriot leadership level without a drastic intervention on the part of Ankara.

He called on the international and European communities to increase the pressure they exert on Ankara to change its so far intransigent position.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. A new round of UN-backed talks to reunite the island under a federal roof is set to commence soon.

Optimistic for a Greek deal by beginning of June

Quick also expressed his optimism that a deal will be reached between Greece and its international lenders by the beginning of June.

On his part Omirou called on Europeans to show their solidarity in practice and to support those EU member states facing difficulties due to the crisis.

Greece belongs in the Euro, he said, expressing the hope that the positive indications from the negotiations will lead to an agreement.

An agreement, he added, “which will lead the country to growth, away from one sided austerity policies, will restore social balance and will guarantee public debt sustainability.”