Last Update: 22:20
The Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras commented on the Cyprus issue, ahead of a second round talks for a solution to be held in Switzerland on June 28, and stressed that it was primarily a European issue:“Perhaps the most crucial wager for upgrading the EU’s regional and international role is today the prospect of a just and viable solution of the Cyprus issue and ensuring respect of good neighborhood in the Aegean,” he said.
Despite efforts on the Greek side for dialogue and good neighbor relations, Tsipras added, Turkey continued a policy of provocations in the Aegean. Tsipras said the EU could play a crucial role, in cooperation with the United Nations, in the talks currently underway for the Cyprus issue, which he said were a “test” of its ability to support Greece’s demands to end the outdated guarantees system and the departure of Turkish troops from the island.
He expressed hope that the talks in Switzerland will lay the foundations for a just and viable solution on Cyprus and said that Greece is making every effort to ensure the talks make progress on the chapter on security.
Replying to questions, Tsipras said he was “neither optimistic nor pessimistic” about the outcome but a “realist”:
“Our view is that the Cyprus issue is not a Greek-Turkish difference but a primarily European problem,” Tsipras told reporters in response to questions. Any solution would involve the relations between Greece and Turkey and their agenda, while any outcome would have an impact on the EU, he pointed out. How could European leaders accept a member-state and a president that would be under threat from the presence of occupation troops and influenced by the possibility of intervention by a third country, he pointed out.