Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias is in Nicosia to coordinate with the Cypriot government. During the day he will have a meeting with the President of the Republic and then a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Ioannis Kasoulidis.
Diplomatic sources estimate that there will be no new announcements from the Dendias meetings with President Anastasiades and Ioannis Kasoulidis, however, they underline that the Turkish challenges will be discussed at length given that Turkey is preparing for drilling in plot 6 and also the new Security Council Decision of UN for the renewal of UNFICYP's mandate. They will discuss how they see Greek-Turkish relations and also the ramifications of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
I hope that after the elections in Turkey, regardless of the election result, conditions will prevail which could allow for a gradual improvement in relations.
As far as the Cyprus issue is concerned, Nikos Dendias, in his interview with "K" last Sunday, did not appear optimistic about the restart of a substantial negotiation process. As he told Vassilis Nedos, "48 years since the Turkish invasion, the Cyprus issue remains an unresolved international issue of illegal invasion and occupation". He noted that "Greece, in coordination with the Republic of Cyprus, is working to find a fair, functional and sustainable solution". Underlining that the solution can only be a Bi-Communal Bizonal Federation, in the context defined by the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, he underlined that "unfortunately, the unacceptable and persistent claims of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leadership about a "two-state solution" as well as the illegal actions in Varosia is moving outside the scope of the solution. They leave no room for optimism for the restart of a meaningful and credible negotiation process".
During Dendia's visit, the background surrounding the renewal of UNFICYP's mandate will also be discussed. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, however, said in his statements last Wednesday that he is particularly satisfied with the fact that a phrase welcoming the proposals of both leaders was avoided. He described the report as unjustified, wondering "what proposal of one side are they talking about since that proposal had not been forwarded to us at all?" Now it has, but when the resolution was being drafted it didn't exist," he said characteristically.
The Ukrainian issue and how the two parties will deal with the ramifications of the Russian invasion will also be on the agenda of the discussion. Nicosia will however convey to Athens its desire to treat the case of Ukraine in the same way as that of Cyprus. After all, "K" had revealed last Friday an internal document of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in which Ioannis Kasoulidis informed the Cypriot diplomats that the situation of Ukraine and Cyprus should be treated in the same way.
"The cases of Cyprus and Ukraine" as he noted "constitute parallel processes, where the two countries seek their national justice on the basis of the principles of International Law and respect for Human Rights. Therefore, we expect identical and corresponding reactions both at the declarative level and above all at the practical level. From the first moment, Cyprus condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a matter of principle, without asterisks or footnotes. We highlighted the violation of the Sovereignty, Independence and Territorial Integrity of Ukraine, which - as in the case of Cyprus - constitutes an act contrary to International Law, contrary to the principle of the inviolability of borders and contrary to the Final Act of Helsinki which sets the framework for the further development of the process for security and cooperation in Europe" is characteristically stated in the document and this is to be repeated to Nikos Dendias.
In the meeting both with the President of the Republic and with Ioannis Kasoulidis, it is expected that Nikos Dendias will give updates about the developments in Greek-Turkish relations. In his recent interview with "K", the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs noted that "we sincerely wish to have open channels of communication with Ankara. We continue to look forward to a constructive dialogue. We believe that a solution exists and that it is possible. However, in order to achieve this solution, Turkey must stop violating fundamental rules of International Law and the Law of the Sea. We are not asking for anything unrealistic. We ask Turkey to implement the principles and values that must be respected by all states that have signed the UN Charter, the NATO Treaty and envisage joining the EU. In this particularly negative climate, however, I would like to express a note of optimism. I hope that after the elections in Turkey, regardless of the election result, conditions will prevail which could allow for a gradual improvement in relations. Greek-Turkish relations have not always been and should not be competitive. We must not forget the periods of harmony, no matter how short they were," he noted.
[This article was translated from its Greek original]