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Improved Greek-Turkish relations help Cyprus

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Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said improved Greek-Turkish ties could positively impact resuming deadlocked Cyprus talks.

In an interview with the Greek newspaper “Apogevmatini tis Kyriaki”, Dendias argued that the solidarity shown by Greece following the devastating earthquakes in Turkey has “shaped a new landscape in Greek-Turkish relations.”

As he noted, this new situation has two main characteristics: the lowering of tension in the Turkish rhetoric and the absence of Turkish illegal actions in the Aegean.

“I am not in a position to know how long this very good climate will last, but I hope it will be maintained,” Dendias said.

Asked whether Greece’s support for Cyprus and Turkey’s candidacies for the IMO –for different positions – has disturbed relations between Athens and Nicosia, Dendias said the decision to support the Turkish candidacy “reflects the existing improvement in the climate in Greek-Turkish relations and can only be seen as positive.”

“Positive both for peace and security in the wider region and for the efforts to resume the dialogue for a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation, in accordance with Security Council resolutions and compatible with the European acquis.”

He clarified that “relations between Athens and Nicosia continue to be excellent.”

“In Cyprus, I informed the President of the Republic of Cyprus, my friend, Nikos Christodoulides, as well as my Cypriot counterpart Konstantinos Kombos, about the decision of the Greek government to support the Cypriot candidacy for re-election in category C of the IMO Council.

“During the same visit, our common national goal was confirmed: the solution to the Cyprus problem.

“For the Mitsotakis government, the Cyprus problem is a top national priority”.

Dendias also referred to Turkey’s decision to support Greece for a non-permanent seat in the Security Council, calling it a development “with enormous symbolism”.

“The Council is the guardian of the United Nations Charter and of international law, including UNCLOS,” he added.

Regarding the agenda of the trilateral meeting with Cyprus and Israel held in Nicosia, Dendias said, “The EastMed gas pipeline and the strategic importance of the EuroAsia Interconnector between Greece, Cyprus, and Israel were discussed.”

“These projects have added practical and geostrategic value for the Eastern Mediterranean and the European Union, especially in the light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the need for energy decoupling and increased interconnection”.

The Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum was also discussed.

“We are positive about the prospect of participation of other countries, such as Turkey, under the basic condition of respect on their part of international law and the international law of the sea”.