Greek Foreign Minister George Gerapetritis has highlighted the priority that Greece attaches to the solution of the Cyprus problem, noting that it is important that the President of the Republic of Cyprus Nikos Christodoulides and the leader of the Turkish Cypriots Ersin Tatar proceed immediately to the negotiating table.

In an interview with Greek “REAL NEWS” newspaper, Minister Gerapetritis stressed that “the Cyprus problem remains a top priority for the Greek foreign policy”.

“We are working so that the Cypriot President and the leader of the Turkish Cypriots will sit at the negotiating table,” he said.

Asked about his recent meeting with the Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary-General, María Ángela Holguín Cuéllar, he assured that there is an excellent level of cooperation with Holguín and the UN Secretary-General himself.

“We communicate and meet regularly in order to activate the dialogue mechanism between the two sides,” he noted.

At the same time, he reiterated that during the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ recent meeting with the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in Ankara, the Cyprus issue was discussed.

“The Greek position is clear. The two sides should discuss on the basis of the UN Security Council resolutions for a bizonal, bicommunal federation. The dialogue should start and a productive discussion must take place”, Gerapetritis said, underling the need for a viable and beneficial solution to the Cyprus issue.

At the same time, he noted that the governments of Greece and Cyprus are in agreement that “the improvement in Greco-Turkish relations can only have positive results for restarting the dialogue on the Cyprus problem”.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres appointed María Ángela Holguín Cuéllar of Columbia as his personal envoy for Cyprus, to assume a Good Offices role on his behalf and search for common ground on the way forward in the Cyprus issue.

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