The new president of the Republic of Cyprus, Nikos Christodoulides, called for stronger European Union (EU) engagement in efforts to resolve the Cyprus issue during an official visit to Athens, Greece.
“I briefed (Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis) in detail about the need for a more active engagement of the European Union in the effort to break through the deadlock in the Cyprus issue and for talks to resume,” he told reporters.
“We are well aware that the situation is not easy, we are aware of the difficulties, but at the same time we have a strong conviction that the present state of affairs cannot be the solution of the Cyprus problem. Cyprus cannot remain divided,” he was quoted by Greek national broadcaster ERT as saying.
Cyprus was partitioned when Türkiye sent troops to intervene in the island’s northern part in 1974 in response to a coup staged by the military rulers of Greece at the time.
Several United Nations (UN)-led efforts to negotiate an agreement for the divided island have been inconclusive to date.
Sworn in as the new president of Cyprus on Feb. 28, Christodoulides said that finding a solution to the long-standing Cyprus issue would be his top priority.
“I am ready to continue our great common vision for the solution of the Cyprus issue on the basis of UN resolutions,” Mitsotakis said.
“Following the deadly earthquakes (in Türkiye) which brought the two peoples closer, we are experiencing de-escalation and a more positive attitude today … I hope that this improvement can have a positive impact on the Cyprus issue as well,” the Greek leader said.
Before the recent quakes and Greece’s participation in the rescue of survivors and its offer of humanitarian aid, bilateral Greek-Turkish had been tense over a number of issues, including sea borders.
Greece’s President Katerina Sakellaropoulou told Christodoulides that the Cyprus issue is a constant concern and top national priority of Greece’s foreign policy, the country’s national news agency AMNA reported. ■