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Minister of Foreign Affairs N. Kotzias' statement following his meeting with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, A. Guterres (New York, 17.09.2017)
N. KOTZIAS: Good afternoon. We had an interesting discussion with the Secretary-General of the UN, who again expressed his solidarity for the stance held by Greece on the immigration crisis. We discussed three issues.
The first pertains to UN reforms, where we fully endorse the UNSG’s proposals. Additionally, I laid out our proposal for the creation of a global parliamentary body, which would make the UN more attractive and bring it closer to the everyday life of citizens. This is an issue that requires much work, but my impression is that it appeals to him, as well.
The second issue we discussed was fYROM. Mr. Nimetz, who met with Mr. Vasilakis in London the day before yesterday, was also present. As you are aware, our neighbouring country will be dealing, up until October, with issues related to local government elections. Afterwards, I believe that a window of opportunity will open for discussions on the name issue, provided irredentism is tackled.
Thirdly, we discussed the Cyprus issue. We expressed our willingness to continue in the same framework of talks we had at Crans-Montana, particularly on the proposals made by the Secretary-General at the end, with which we are in agreement. I have already pointed out the need to maintain the acquis of the sole UN document submitted on the final evening of negotiations. It concerns the context within which, decisions on the abolishment of the Treaty of Guarantees, the rights of intervention and so on, would be applied. As you are aware, this document was unfortunately not discussed that evening by any other side, other than myself and, in part, Cyprus. It was undermined, in a way, by the British side. Yet, it is a document that was placed on the table by the Secretary-General himself, constituting a good base upon which to continue our discussions.
JOURNALIST: Minister, President Erdogan, while defending his decision to purchase the S-400s and wishing to mitigate the impressions produced by the US and NATO, said in an interview that there was no reaction when Greece purchased the S-300s…would you like to comment on this?
N. KOTZIAS: One must study history more carefully and draw any analogies more correctly. Unfortunately, I do not have time at the moment to shed light on historical issues, but we shall indeed do this at a later stage.
JOURNALIST: Minister, first of all, may I extend my welcome. As regards the issue of Cyprus, while there are pressing questions asked at the UN on what is likely to happen after the meeting at Crans-Montana, what is being reiterated on the part of the UN is reflection. How does the UN perceive, in your opinion, such reflection, considering Turkey’s attitude, with violations…(?)
N. KOTZIAS: We must retain two things. The first, is -what I consider a success for Greek diplomacy- that it has been accepted from the very beginning -I am referring to 2016- that these negotiations have no endpoint. It is an ongoing process, what we refer to as open ended. Therefore, we shall pick up from Geneva I and Crans-Montana, i.e. Geneva II, provided that all sides wish to do so. At the moment, one side does not seem willing to participate in a meaningful discussion, which it also avoided at Crans-Montana. I think that it is a responsibility for all of us to help; to contribute in solving the Cyprus issue, to the benefit of the entire population of Cyprus -the two communities and the three small minorities- and not to the benefit of a third country.Thank you.