Cyprus settlement strategic goal, new Greek Ambassador says
Nicosia, Jul 1 (CNA) -- The solution of the Cyprus problem is a common goal, new Greek Ambassador to Cyprus Demetrios Rallis has said, adding that Greece will not spare any efforts until the a just, viable and comprehensive settlement to the problem is reached.
Rallis presented his credentials to Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos, who praised Greece's role in Cyprus' accession to the European Union and particularly its support towards the Cypriot positions after the 24 April 2004 referenda, when the Greek Cypriot community rejected UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's plan for a comprehensive settlement.
''Without the firm support of the Greek government, the Parliament, the Greek parties and the Greek people, our accession to the EU would not have been possible, regardless of our performance and our political efforts,'' the President noted.
Referring to Turkey, President Papadopoulos noted that its primary aim is to upgrade the secessionist entity established in the northern part of Cyprus after the 1974 Turkish invasion and not the achievement of a viable and functional solution of the Cyprus problem.
He also referred to the Turkish insistence to connect a European Union regulation for 259 million euros of financial assistance to the Turkish Cypriots, which the Cypriot government approved, to the proposed EU regulation for direct trade with the occupied areas, an insistence which deprived the Turkish Cypriots from receiving the economic assistance.
Presenting his credentials, Rallis noted that the achievement of a just, viable and functional solution to the Cyprus problem, which would respect UN resolutions and the EU acquis communautaire is a strategic target, adding that the solution should be the result of unobstructed talks between the two sides and an expression of free and sovereign will by the Cypriot people.
''Greece and Cyprus work together for the commencement of a well prepared procedure for a Cyprus settlement on the basis of the Annan plan, which would have serious prospects to reach an agreement by the parties involved,'' the Greek diplomat noted.
He assured that Greece would always stand by Cyprus' side until the common target of the solution of the Cyprus problem is reached.
''As long as the Cypriot Hellenism's drama continues, Greece will not spare any efforts for the solution of the Cyprus problem,'' he said.
Later on, Rallis held a reception on the occasion of the credentials ceremony, assuring the Cypriot people that he will work together and in coordination with the Republic's authorities for the solution of the Cyprus problem.
He also noted that Cyprus' accession to the EU constitutes a new decisive factor and a semantic differential from the past, as far as the Cyprus problem is concerned.