12 June, 2008
Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, speaking in an interview with the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), said that Greece will continue to support efforts that have begun and that are aimed at ending the Turkish occupation and finding a mutual agreement on the reunification of Cyprus.
On the eve of her arrival in Cyprus on a working visit, Bakoyannis said that the new mobility on the issue of Cyprus is the result of the initiatives of President Demetris Christofias and noted that the two communities must be set free in the effort to find common ground capable of supporting the resumption of overall negotiations with guarantees and prospects of success.
The foreign minister stressed, however, that considerable obstacles continue to exist, adding that President Christofias and Turkish Cyprot leader Ali Talat, with the agreement reached on March 21, reaffirmed their adherrence to the goal of a mutual solution for a bizonal and bicommunal federation.
"A new window of opportunity has opened. It is the responsibility of each of us to keep it open," Bakoyannis concluded.
Considerations relating to "guarantee" issues or rights of intervention were out of place in the negotiations for a solution to the Cyprus problem, whose target was the reunification of the island republic within the framework of the European Union, foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos said on Wednesday.
"The negotiations aim at the reunification of Cyprus. This is the strategic target, the strategic goal: the reunification of Cyprus. In other words a united Cyprus, member of the EU. In such a framework, issues of guarantees or rights of intervention are confused, are practices and ways of thinking that are foreign and unknown in a European framework," he stressed.
He was replying to questions regarding Greece's position as a guarantor power in Cyprus to the issue of guarantees that would be the object of talks between the two sides once negotiations began.
The spokesman denied, however, that his statement implied that Greece was waiving its rights as a guarantor power.
"Nothing of the sort was said, I did not speak about the negotiations process. I made a general statement concerning the end of the negotiations," he stressed.
Source: Athens News Agency