Greece`s Ambassador in Nicosia Ilias Fotopoulos has said that the Cyprus problem remains the biggest challenge in the Eastern Mediterranean region, in a message on the occasion of the anniversary of the Greek Revolution against the Ottoman Empire, that began on 25 March 1821.
“In the region of the Eastern Mediterranean, the biggest challenge remains unfortunately the Cyprus problem” Fotopoulos said and stressed that the Cyprus issue remains unsolved due to Turkey`s reluctance to engage in a frank and constructive dialogue aimed at a sustainable and functional solution.
Fotopoulos noted that “the long stagnation of the Cyprus issue has given Turkey and part of the international community the wrong impression that the status quo has created some realities on the ground, such as the presence of the occupation army, which we must cynically accept, as ‘inevitable’. According to this incorrect reasoning of some third parties, these realities should also determine the form of the future solution, but in this case, it would be a solution in name only” the Greek Ambassador pointed out, “because the Cyprus issue is primarily a problem of invasion and occupation.”
He stressed that a future solution should rid Cyprus of these realities and aim at restoring the international and European legal order, be based on the decisions of the United Nations and on the European acquis and secure conditions of security, peace and prosperity.
For Greece, said Fotopoulos, the key parameter for the resumption of the Cyprus talks under the auspices of the UN, is the right and proper preparation of the chapter of security on the basis of the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres` framework and his proposal regarding the set up of a mechanism tasked with overseeing the implementation of the solution.
“Through the continuous, unwavering and strong rallying and alignment of Greece with the Republic of Cyprus, Hellenism is not in danger” Fotopoulos stressed in his message.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in the summer of 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.