Greece and Cyprus Reaffirm Support for Turkish Entry Into the EU

The Greek and Cypriot foreign ministers, who met in Nicosia on Tuesday, reaffirmed their countries’ support for Turkey’s European Union entry bid.

Greek minister George Katrougalos noted that “Turkey’s European perspective should not be ruled out, with the self-evident condition of respect, on Turkey’s part, of international law and good neighbor relations.”

It was in the best interests of both the EU and Turkey to keep Turkey’s road to Europe open, he said, but it was also in the best interests of Greece and Cyprus.

The Greek minister reported “absolute agreement” with Cyprus on this issue, adding “It is in the interests of the Turkish people, our own countries and the EU that there should not be an anti-European, hostile Turkey on the eastern borders of the EU.

“We are opposed to the cultivation on many sides of a climate of Islamophobia that is contrary to the practice of open societies that Europe has always promoted and contrary to European culture, which has its own values but also respect for the other,” Katrougalos explained.

Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides echoed Greece’s position, saying that Nicosia opposed the termination of accession negotiations with Turkey.

“This will not help either in the solution of the Cyprus problem or what we want to achieve with respect to Turkey: its conversion into a country that respects human rights and the rule of law, that can be close to the EU,” he said, while pointing out that Turkey will always be a neighbor.