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Deputy Foreign Minister I. Amanatidis' interviewed on "24/7 Radio"

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

"The talks may have ended, but there is no end to the effort" to find a solution to the Cyprus problem, Deputy Foreign Minister Ioannis Amanatidis stressed on 24/7 Radio, to journalist Giorgos Melingonis.

Asked about the outcome of the talks in Crans-Montana, Mr. Amanatidis highlighted that "the international community can never accept an illegal occupation that runs counter to all the international rules," adding that "it was made clear what the problem is: the guarantees, Turkey's obsession with preserving what it sees as its "rights of intervention" and its intransigent stance. In other words, what became clear through the talks and what Turkey was forced to admit at the last dinner, in the presence of UN Secretary-General Guterres.

Asked to comment on the government's next steps on the issue, Mr. Amanatidis stressed that "this is a time of reflection", adding that "the Republic of Cyprus and Greece are currently evaluating the results and are planning how we will proceed from here. The period of reflection must lead to even more intensive efforts towards a just and viable solution of the Cyprus problem."

According to the Deputy Foreign Minister, "it is positive that the international community realised exactly what is going on," and that "the words of the Turkish Foreign Minister, in the presence of the UN Secretary-General, revealed that the Turks do not want to relinquish the rights of intervention they believe they have in Cyprus. This became clear to the international community."

Mr. Amanatidis asked that the national issue of Cyprus not be mixed up with "partisan interests", and, regarding the main opposition party's stance in yesterday's parliamentary debate, he underscored that "there is an overall agreement, and that's very positive, but the New Democracy party, in a polarizing move, tried to shift the debate to another issue, beyond the Cyprus problem."

In the wake of yesterday's statements from German Minister of State Michael Roth, Mr. Amanatidis explained that "there was an immediate response from the Foreign Ministry. We asked for political sensitivities to be respected," and responding to a question on the FYROM name issue, Mr. Amanatidis made it clear that "this issue will be met with the same responsible stance that we adopted on the Cyprus issue – we have the experience" to negotiate effectively on this issue too. "The confidence-building measures are being implemented, and these are very, very important. On the level of rhetoric, you saw a small shift in FYROM's stance," but "they know what they have to do. If they want something more, they will have to do something more."

Ahead of the initiation of drilling in the Cypriot EEZ, the Deputy Foreign Minister underscored that "what the Republic of Cyprus is doing right now is exercising its sovereign rights – rights deriving from international law. These rights should be fully respected by everyone."

Listen to the interview: