Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said on Tuesday that the Cyprus problem remained at the top of his country’s agenda during a visit on the island, with his Cypriot counterpart calling on the European Union to use a carrot-and-stick approach towards Turkey.
The foreign ministers of Greece and Cyprus concluded a meeting on Tuesday afternoon in Nicosia, where the two men focused extensively on common guidelines for course of action towards Turkey.
According to Kathimerini Cyprus, after the two men emerged from a meeting, Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides said countries that have “troubling relations” with the EU ought to be handled by a carrot-and-stick approach.
“A carrot-and-stick policy allows for cooperation, where that may be possible if there are conditions and determination, but also effective response where basic EU values and principles are violated,” Christodoulides said.
The minister, a former career diplomat, was referring to Turkey but also to third countries he said, after the two men and their staff discussed what was described as a way forward against Turkish provocations and challenges in the eastern Mediterranean.
Dendias said the level of cooperation between the two countries was “excellent,” adding that it was contributing to peace and stability in the region.
The Greek foreign minister also slammed recent Turkish actions in the area, saying “persistence through illegal activities does not create fait accompli.”
Dendias, who made the one-day trip to the island, was received in the morning by President Nicos Anastasiades at the presidential residence in Troodos. [Kathimerini Cyprus]