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Greece - Britain discuss Cyprus, Turkish proposals
2006-01-27 11:21:14

Athens, Jan 27 (CNA) – Ankara’s proposals on Cyprus, the island’s long standing problem, Greco-Turkish relations and Turkey’s European course were high on the agenda of a meeting between British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and Greek Premier Costas Karamanlis and Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis.

Speaking after the meeting, Molyviatis said “the Greek government has studied carefully the proposals and the conclusion is that they basically do not differ from previous ones, presented by the Turkish government last May and which led nowhere”.

"The idea of a quadripartite conference on Cyprus has been revived. We firmly believe that such a forum is not the right framework for a discussion on the Cyprus problem, for the simple reason that the question of Cyprus is not a bilateral problem but an international one, which is discussed at the United Nations", he said.

Noting EU Commissioner Olli Rehn’s statement that Turkey should meet fully its obligations towards the EU, the Greek FM said: «the permanent and strategic goal of Greece is the reunification of Cyprus, so as all inhabitants of the island, G/C and T/C, will enjoy the fruits of EU participation.''

For this to happen, he noted, the process of finding a solution must start again and the right conditions for negotiations that will ensure a successful outcome, and not another failure, must be created.

"Maintaining the status quo is in no one’s interest, on the contrary all interested parties have an interest in seeking an agreed solution to the Cyprus problem”, Molyviatis said, noting that Greece will make every effort to create the right conditions that would lead to the resumption of the process to reach a settlement".

Referring to the Cyprus problem, British Foreign Minister said Britain has an additional responsibility with regard to Cyprus as a guarantor power.

He agreed with Olli Rehn as well as the UN that Ankara’s proposals are a positive step, which must be studied carefully.

Straw expressed the gratitude of the EU British presidency for the positive role Greece played on 3 October 2005 for the start of the EU accession talks of Turkey and Croatia.

He stressed that every accession process means certain obligations for the member states as weel as for the acceding countries, that must meet these obligations which are clear and this applies also for Turkey and Croatia.

Responding to questions, he said that Turkey’s obligations towards the EU, Turkish proposals for the Cyprus problem and the easing of the so called Turkish Cypriot isolation are separate issues.

Both sides stressed the excellent level of relations between Greece and Turkey.

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