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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 17-01-12

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>


  • [01] Kotzias: Greece bringing constructive proposals to the talks on Cyprus
  • [02] Second review must be completed 'as soon as possible,' Moscovici and Tsakalotos agree in Brussels

  • [01] Kotzias: Greece bringing constructive proposals to the talks on Cyprus

    GENEVA (ANA/ S. Aravopoulou) In his address during the first part of a multilateral meeting on Cyprus held on Thursday, focusing on security issues and guarantees, Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias said that Greece intends to contribute constructive proposals that address the security concerns of both communities on the island and yield the maximum possible equality, diplomatic sources said.

    Greece considers the guarantees' regime outdated and believes that there cannot be guarantees and rights of intervention in an EU member-state, Kotzias added. He noted that the Turkish troops on the island must withdraw that a binding plan for their withdrawal was essential. Security issues could be then covered by better policing on a state and federal level, with a federal and possibly international police force, he said.

    The best guarantee, Kotzias added, was Cyprus' membership of the EU since this guaranteed the rights of all, while he welcomed the presence of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini at the meeting, which he said illustrated the EU's interest and potential role.

    Kotzias also thanked UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres for the UN's efforts aiming at the reunification of Cyprus, while he referred to the political courage of Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci for their own efforts in this direction.

    Greece's foreign minister said that a solution must equally protect the rights of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots and the three minorities on the island. The Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots must feel security, he added, and repeated the need for a viable, functional and just solution to the Cyprus issue that was compatible with EU laws and regulations.

    Kotzias said that Cyprus must become a beacon of stability and an example for all of the Middle East, noting that a solution would be a "shining example for all countries in the region and create conditions of prosperity."

    The future of Cyprus, as that of Turkey, lies within the EU, Kotzias concluded. "We believe in this and want to work for the reunification of the island so that Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots can dream, can feel that this is their country and can build the future of their children with security," he said.

    [02] Second review must be completed 'as soon as possible,' Moscovici and Tsakalotos agree in Brussels

    BRUSSELS (ANA/ M. Aroni) Greece's Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos and European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici on Thursday expressed their shared desire for a swift conclusion of the second review of the Greek programme "as soon as possible" and in the best possible way, in a joint press conference held after their meeting in Brussels.

    They reported having a "constructive discussion both on the substance and process of the second review," with Tsakalotos noting that "we are at a good point, heading in the right direction." All sides were seeking a solution and no one was creating a problem, he added.

    Tsakalotos said that the various sides were very close to finding an overall solution, while noting the difficulty created by the large number of "actors" involved and many issues up for discussion, combined with upcoming elections in several European countries.

    Asked whether a completion of the second review within January is possible, Tsakalotos said he could not know whether the review will be completed in January or later but there was agreement that the sooner it was completed, the better.

    Moscovici noted the European Commission's view that a lot had been done recently to ensure the "real success" of the Greek programme. Regarding the second review, he said that some issues remained open, which he had discussed with Tsakalotos, and expressed hope that this can be quickly completed.

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