Greece in favour of Turkey’s EU path

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Athens favours Turkey’s course towards Europe, but Ankara must take tangible steps under EU law, Greek Foreign Minister George Gerapetritis said in an interview with Ghad TV during a recent visit to Egypt.

He reiterated Athen’s support for a bi-zonal, bi-communal federal solution in Cyprus.

“There are a lot of steps to be taken and specific benchmarks and conditions that need to be addressed,” Gerapetritis said.

“We are willing to work together with Turkey in order to facilitate this course.

“On the other hand, we all have to consider there are some thorny issues that need to be addressed. As you know, there is a major issue concerning Cyprus.

“In Cyprus, we had a foreign invasion 50 years ago, whose results are still there; we have numerous resolutions issued by the UN Security Council, with which everyone has to comply.

“We support a solution of the bi-zonal, bi-communal federation so that the people of Cyprus, both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, enjoy the EU membership as it stands now for the Republic of Cyprus”.

On Greek-Turkey relations, he said, “We need to enter into this political dialogue in the context of tranquillity in the region, and red lines have to be respected”.

“It is self-evident that Greece will not accept issues touching upon sovereignty, such as Greek territorial waters or Greece’s territorial integrity, to be part of this dialogue.

“Obviously, Greek sovereignty issues are only within Greece’s competence and jurisdiction.

“We need to establish a good relationship, a good neighbourly relationship, based on good faith, but most importantly on the strong grounds of International Law.

“What Greece says is that International Law should be respected”.