PM Mitsotakis From Cyprus: ”You Have Greece’s and the EU’s Support”



New Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis (L) is welcomed by the President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades at the entrance of the Presidential Palace in Nicosia. Credit: twitter.com/AnastasiadesCY

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis arrived in Cyprus on Monday morning, where he held a formal meeting with the President of the Republic of the island, Nicos Anastasiades.

Following a tradition that has lasted for decades, which dictates that the first official visit abroad for a newly-elected Greek prime minister is made to Cyprus, Mitsotakis arrived at Larnaca’s international airport on Monday morning. He was driven to the Cypriot capital of Nicosia, where he was warmly welcomed by President Anastasiades.

The two leaders held their first official meeting in Nicosia‘s Presidential Palace and then made a joint statement in front of reporters.

”Cyprus will have Greece’s and the EU’s support in any rise of tension in the region on energy issues,” Mitsotakis declared, referring to illegal Turkish drilling in the island Republic’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

He then expressed his administration’s support for the trilateral collaborations that are ongoing in the area, which he noted had been initiated during the government of Antonios Samaras and have been continued by each government since that time.

During his speech, the Greek PM stated that the end of the Turkish occupation is the top priority for the island, and he stressed that any future resolution of the Cyprus issue should abolish the outdated institution of “guarantees.”

Mitsotakis also expressed Greece’s optimism about a future meeting of Anastasiades with the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, Mustafa Akinci.

”Turkish transgression clearly violates the Republic of Cyprus’ sovereign rights and also relates to the EU’s energy policy, which seeks to diversify energy in the East Mediterranean basin,” Mitsotakis said. ”Greece affirms its support to Cyprus,” he reiterated, noting that Greece will respond within the framework of the EU and its national decisions.

For his part, President Anastasiades said that both leaders agreed that the restart of negotiations on the Cyprus issue “demands Turkey’s active contribution in creating the right climate, and in putting an end to illegal activities within Cyprus’ EEZ and in the plans for the sealed-off area of Famagusta.”

The schedule of the Greek delegation visiting Cyprus includes meetings between the two administrations and other members of the economic and political spheres of the island.

Prime Minister Mitsotakis is being accompanied on his visit to Cyprus by Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias along with Environment and Energy Minister Kostis Chatzidakis.

With information from AMNA