23 February, 2006
Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis on Wednesday reiterated Athens' standing policy vis-à-vis the Cyprus issue, noting that both Greece and the island republic continue to solidly support a just, viable and functional solution for Cyprus based on respect of EU values and UN resolutions "to the benefit of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots alike".
The comments came during a meeting here between Bakoyannis, the former Athens mayor, and visiting Cyprus Foreign Minister George Iacovou.
On her part, the Greek FM underlined that for any solution to be viable, it must be the product of an agreement that is, in turn, acceptable by both communities.
She also supported resumption of a process leading to a solution, without however, tight deadlines and arbitration, as she said, "so that it (process) retains the largest number of elements for success".
"We all agree that there are no more margins for a new failure," Bakoyanni said.
In echoing standing Greek policy, meanwhile, Bakoyannis made it clear that efforts to resolve the Cyprus issue should not be confused with obligations that EU candidate-country Turkey has vis-à-vis the bloc.
Finally, she welcomed Iacovou back to Athens, while calling the level of talks "excellent", before announcing her anticipation for Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos' upcoming visit to Athens in the first half of March.
On his part, the Cypriot foreign minister first noted that he was the first foreign minister to meet with Bakoyanni since her assumption of the high-ranking ministry portfolio, while expressing his conviction that cooperation will be based on the "common policy that has been laid out over the years by the two governments, President Papadopoulos and the Greek premier".
The Cypriot foreign minister said discussions on Wednesday included certain issues involving the possibility that draft regulations envisioning assistance to the T/C community will be discussed at the upcoming General Affairs Council.
He also reminded that Papadopoulos will meet with UN chief Kofi Annan in Paris next Tuesday.