Preparation must go into Cyprus talks, Kotzias says


Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias said on Tuesday that negotiations to resolve the Cyprus problem can only get under way if they have been preceded by proper preparation to see if there is scope for a solution.

“We have to see whether there really is a will and a chance for meaningful and productive solutions,” he told reporters after his meeting in Athens with United Nations special envoy to Cyprus Jane Holl Lute.

Kotzias said he told Lute that the Cyprus problem is first and foremost an issue of foreign occupation. “I told her that the main issue for the Greek Cypriots is to feel secure on their island,” he said, adding that this means the “scrapping of the so-called treaties of guarantees and alliance.”

Kotzias will meet with Cyprus Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides Wednesday before they both head to Israel on Thursday for a trilateral meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who holds his country’s foreign affairs portfolio.