Kotzias: Greece willing to continue Cyprus talks on UNSG proposals

18 September 2017
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Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias has expressed the willingness of Greece to continue discussions on the Cyprus problem in the framework of Crans Montana and especially the proposals put forward towards the end by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

Kotzias was speaking after a short meeting with Guterres at UN headquarters. A UN statement said “the Secretary-General listened to the foreign minister’s views on the state and future of the Cyprus peace talks”.

Speaking after the 15-minute meeting, Kotzias said it was necessary to maintain “the only document of the UN submitted during the negotiations on the last evening, regarding the framework in which the decisions would be implemented, with which one could abolish the treaty of guarantees and intervention rights etcetera.

“Unfortunately, this text on that evening, with the exception of myself and partially Cyprus, was not discussed by the other sides. The British also sabotaged it in some way,” Kotzias said.

The Greek minister said the text submitted by the UN Secretary General was “a good foundation to continue our talks,” adding that it was a success of the Greek diplomacy that the concept of “open ended” talks was accepted, and that talks would continue, as long as the two sides wanted this.

“At this moment in time, one side does not seem willing to enter substantive talks, which it also avoided in Crans Montana. It is our obligation to help, to contribute to the solution of the Cyprus issue to the benefit of Cyprus’ population,” he said.

“The Secretary General [also] commended the compassion and solidarity shown by Greece and its citizens towards large numbers of refugees and migrants who arrived in Greece,” the UN statement said.

“The Secretary-General also welcomed the renewed efforts to find a solution to the name dispute between Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. He assured the foreign minister of the United Nations’ commitment to support the two countries in that regard,” it added.

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