Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Demetris Droutsas has reassured that Greece stands by the side of the Republic of Cyprus and the people of Cyprus in efforts to solve the Cyprus problem.Speaking on Friday, after a meeting in Nicosia with President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias at the Presidential Palace, Droutsas said that they discussed the latest developments in the Cyprus issue.

“I will reiterate the obvious, that Greece always stands and will continue to stand by the side of the Republic of Cyprus, by the side of the people of Cyprus”, he said.

“We strongly support the responsible efforts of Cypriot President Demetris Christofias. Efforts for a solution to the Cyprus issue on the basis of the UN decisions and in line with the acquis communautaire, for a united and free from Turkish troops Cyprus”, he said, stressing that the continuation of the presence of Turkish troops in the island is shameful.

The Greek Minister expressed concern over the efforts of Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu to abandon the agreed basis of the direct negotiations. “I think there is no excuse for that and Eroglu should proceed to the negotiations with constructive positions, and to convince us that he really wishes a solution. Turkey should do the same”, he added.

Referring to the latest developments in Libya and the demand of the international community for respect of UN resolutions, Droutsas reminded that there are UN Security Council resolutions on Cyprus as well. He stressed that Turkey, above all, and the international community should respect those resolutions.

Droutsas, who is paying a visit to Cyprus at the invitation of Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcos Kyprianou, in order to participate in an informal meeting of Foreign Ministers of Mediterranean countries, also discussed the latest developments in North Africa and Syria with President Christofias.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Peace talks are currently underway to find a negotiated settlement to reunite the country.

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