Greek House President: Greece and Cyprus face three challenges

Greek House President: Greece and Cyprus face three challenges

Greece and Cyprus are faced with three different challenges, President of the Greek Parliament Nikos Voutsis said after a meeting he held on Monday in Nicosia with his Cypriot counterpart Yiannakis Omirou.

Voutsis, who is paying Cyprus his first official visit abroad since he assumed office in October, said that the three challenges include the Cyprus issue, the solution of the economic problems as well as terrorism.

`These are three challenges which constitute a greater challenge to our joint effort to play a leading role in order to address these specific challenges, overcome the economic crisis and deliver real long term solutions to our national interests,” he stressed.

On the refugee crisis, the President of the Greek Parliament said that the drama of the refugees is clearly seen on the Greek islands and noted that around 3.000 people died in the Mediterranean Sea in just one year.

He pointed out that there should be a solution to the crisis in the region and warned that the problem cannot be solved by offering Turkey six billion euro or by asking Greece to have hot spots.

In his statements, Omirou said that the two countries share the same positions as regards the main national issues. Referring to the crisis in the region, he said that Cyprus and Greece are factors of stability, security and cooperation and that both countries believe that terrorism should also be addressed in the root of the problem.

During the meeting, they also discussed the economic crisis, and they agreed that the EU has to change its course towards “investments, growth and the creation of jobs”, Omirou said.

He also expressed optimism that the peoples of Cyprus and Greece will in the end overcome the crisis and return to conditions of development, social cohesion and prosperity for all.

The Cyprus issue was also on the agenda of the meeting. The Cypriot House President said that they both share the same position that the Cyprus problem is a problem of invasion and occupation, noting that the solution of the Cyprus issue includes the end of Turkey`s military presence in Cyprus and the cancellation of the anachronistic guarantees of 1960. The solution, he added, must
include the full implementation of human rights and fundamental freedoms while the EU acquis communautaire should be applied as outlined in the EU-Cyprus Accession Treaty without permanent derogations.

During the meeting, Omirou honored the Greek official with the Cypriot Parliament`s medal for his
`struggles for Democracy, Freedom, Justice and Peace”.

The leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci have been engaged in UN-backed peace talks since May this year with the aim to reunite Cyprus, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion, under a federal roof.