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Greek Foreign Minister: Turkish side delays progress
2007-08-02 09:12:34

The Greek Foreign Minister Ms. Dora Bakoyianni, speaking at a gathering of Greek ambassadors, believes that the Turkish Cypriot side has blocked progress towards substantive talks leading to a solution in Cyprus. Ms Bakoyianni points out that the Turkish Cypriots are backed by Ankara on this.

The Foreign Minister reiterated her firm support for a just, viable and functional settlement in Cyprus, saying that the Greek government will encourage and contribute actively to any effort by Nicosia to make headway towards a solution at European and bilateral level. She stated that “The Turkish Cypriot side, encouraged by Ankara, is procrastinating and such tactics are leading nowhere, in addition to alienating the Turkish Cypriot leadership from the Turkish Cypriots themselves.”

The Greek Minister added that unfortunately despite the continuous, intensive and sincere efforts by Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos and his government, the July 2006 UN-brokered agreement has not yielded the desired results.

With regards to Turkey’s accession course to the European Union, Ms Bakoyiannis stated that Ankara has to meet European standards and adapt to EU rules and regulations. She stated her hope that the new Turkish government will proceed with the necessary reforms that would bring Turkey closer to Europe and indicated that she noted, adding that Athens is extending a hand of friendship to Turkey which has to follow suit.

Finally the Foreign Minister added that “Respect of human rights is a must. Greece and Turkey are condemned to coexist and our people will benefit from full normalization of our bilateral relations.”

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