Greek and Cypriot Foreign Ministers discuss Cyprus question and result of Turkish elections
Greek Foreign Minister Ms. Dora Bakoyiannis and Cyprus Foreign Minister Ms. Erato Kozakou-Marcoulli reaffirmed on July 25, the continuous and close cooperation and coordination between Athens and Nicosia with a view to promote the common goal for a just, viable and functional settlement for Cyprus’ reunification. The two ministers also looked into developments in the Cyprus question and evaluated the results of the recent elections in Turkey.
Ms. Marcoulli expressed the hope that after the reelection of Turkish Prime Minister Mr. Recep Tayiip Erdogan, the Turkish government and Turkish Cypriot leader Mr. Mehmet Ali Talat will take on the Cyprus question, so that the implementation of the 8 July Agreement for the preparation of a new negotiating process will begin.
The fact that there will be a stable and democratically elected government in Turkey is positive, and Mr. Erdogan’s will of Turkey to maintain its EU orientation is positive thing according to Ms. Bakoyianni. She stressed however that tangible proofs and actions are expected with a view to draw secure conclusions, noting that this applies also to the Cyprus question.
Ms. Bakoyianni noted that there is a stalemate as regards the 8 July Agreement, due to the stance of the Turkish Cypriot side “which has been following a delaying policy.” Ms. Bakoyianni also said that Turkish Cypriot leader Mr. Mehmet Ali Talat refrained from responding “to the recent initiative of the President of the Republic of Cyprus” Tassos Papadopoulos for a meeting between them, with a view to overcome the current counter-productive deadlock.
On Turkey’s EU course, both Ministers focused on those aspects which concern Turkey's obligation as a candidate state to normalize its relations with the Republic of Cyprus as an EU member state.
According to Ms. Marcoulli “the constant and close cooperation and coordination between Athens and Nicosia in the common effort to achieve a just, viable and functional settlement for the reunification of Cyprus, so that Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots will be able to enjoy the benefits of the participation in the EU, without the presence of occupation forces.” Ms. Bakoyianni wished Ms. Marcoulli luck at her new task and noted that during their meeting they reviewed the situation and evaluated the prospects ahead, after the recent Turkish elections.
Referring to Turkish elections, Ms. Marcoulli said that “what concerns us particularly is the participation of the nationalist party of Mr. Bahceli (Nationalist Action Party) in the parliament. It is a party with a very negative tradition as regards national issues in general and specifically the Cyprus question.” She added that the success of Erdogan’s party at the elections “is a very important development in Turkey, as is the continuation of the reforms in Turkey and its accession course, but what counts is whether the Prime Minister of Turkey will succeed in this difficult struggle to reduce the role of the army in the whole political process in Turkey.”
With regards to July 8th Agreement, Ms. Marcoulli noted that this is the only process on the table and that its implementation will lead to the preparation of a new negotiating procedure “which we hope will lead to a just settlement of the Cyprus question, on the basis of the United Nations resolutions, of the European and international law and on the basis of a bizonal, bicommunal federation.”