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Cyprus and Greece to sign “Common Crisis Management Memorandum”

08 May, 2014

Nicosia and Athens will sign soon a “Memorandum for a Common Crisis Management”, the Cypriot and Greek Defence Ministers confirmed Thursday.

The agreement is expected to be signed in the Cypriot capital.

Cyprus Defence Minister Christophoros Phokaides met with his Greek counterpart Demetris Avramopoulos, in Athens and, in statements after the meeting, Avramopoulos noted that the existing defence cooperation is developing into a “permanent, stable and upgraded cooperation”.

Phokaides from his part extended an official invitation to Avramopoulos to visit Cyprus soon.

Furthermore, the Cypriot Minister said he briefed his counterpart over the latest developments in the Cyprus issue, noting that it is up to the Turkish side to seize the opportunity, in the framework of the new round of talks that began last February, and present constructive proposals at the negotiations` table.

Avramopoulos said from his part that Greece assists with all means Cyprus` efforts and added that a Cyprus solution must be fully compatible with the acquis communautaire. He also expressed Athens` support to Nicosia, in the exercise of its sovereign rights within the country`s exclusive economic zone.

Later on, the two Ministers briefed Greek President Karolos Papoulias over the agreement, who said he expects an enhanced cooperation, especially in a crucial sector, such as the defence sector. He added that there is no room for the repetition of “historic mistakes”.

Phokaides also briefed Papoulias in relation with efforts to reach a Cyprus solution that will reinstate human rights and the territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus, while reuniting the country.

The President of the Hellenic Republic noted his optimism for the future, adding that Ankara may also realize that in order to fulfill its European aspirations, it has to abide by all things the EU expects from a candidate member state.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third.