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13 September, 1999
Alternate Foreign Minister Yannos Kranidiotis urged Turkey to help in a solution to the Cyprus issue to enable Greece to support its European Union membership candidacy.
"Greece requests from Turkey to do something for the Cyprus issue to enable it to support its candidacy at the European Union," the newspaper Sabah wrote yesterday in presenting a big interview with Mr. Kranidiotis.
"The Cyprus issue is one of the issues standing between Turkey and the European Union and Greece believes that some progress should take place and then it would be easier to observe a positive stance towards Turkey," Mr. Kranidiotis said, adding that "unless progress is achieved, everything will by much more difficult."
Mr. Kranidiotis said in his interview that "the solution to the Cyprus issue lies in a bizonal and bicommunal federation and that it is imperative that Cyprus becomes a European Union member."
"I am sure that such a development would be to the benefit of both communities and to the benefit of Turkey as well," he said.
Mr. Kranidiotis said Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash was an "anachronistic" personality, who has already said that he does not want a continuation of intercommunal dialogue in Cyprus.
"I am thinking of the future instead of searching for responsibilities.
I can see the possibilities which could be created by friendship and cooperation," Mr. Kranidiotis said and added that the people "are ready for a new beginning."
Mr. Kranidiotis said in his interview that "the dialogue and the positive climate, which started being created due to the earthquakes, will gradually affect major issues such as the Cyprus issue and the Aegean and in the end we will be able to resolve them. We must maintain this climate."
"I believe that we can develop a very close relationship by cooperating," Mr. Kranidiotis said and underlined that absolute consensus exists in Athens over this new stance towards Turkey.
Source: Athens News Agency