Cyprus and Greece discuss oil explorations issue
Larnaca, Feb 22 – Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos returned home from meetings in Athens with the Greek leadership where the issue of oil exploration and exploitation was primarily discussed.
“The visit took place in the usual, excellent climate of understanding and there was agreement on all issues which were examined” the President told reporters.
Earlier, Greek Prime Minister Constantinos Karamanlis had stressed that: “Cyprus, like every other sovereign state, can exercise its rights according to international law.”
He added that Turkey’s "provocative threats and actions" should be taken into consideration by the international community and by the European Union which Ankara aspires to join.
Apart from the issue of hydrocarbons, Mr. Karamanlis and Mr. Papadopoulos discussed the Cyprus problem and efforts to implement the July 8, 2006 agreement, as well as the next moves of the two countries in the EU.
The July 8 agreement envisages a process of bicommunal discussions on issues that affect the day-to-day life of the people and concurrently those that concern substantive issues, both contributing to a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem.
Mr. Karamanlis said that the agreement has not yet been implemented due to the delaying tactics employed by the Turkish side, adding that Greece and Cyprus insist on the implementation of whatever was agreed.
"We remain focused on a comprehensive and viable solution to the Cyprus problem on the basis of the relevant UN resolutions and the European values and principles, so that the last dividing wall (in Europe) would fall and the benefits of the EU would extend to the whole of the island," the Greek Premier noted, expressing hope that "Turkey will show the necessary political will so that the whole process will quickly move forward."
Regarding Turkey's European course, Mr. Karamanlis reiterated that Cyprus and Greece wish to see Turkey adopting EU principles, adding, however, that "we cannot ascertain progress where there is none".
"It is up to Turkey to fulfil the commitments it assumed if it wants to proceed towards the EU," he added.