December 20, 1958

GREECE-TURKEY ON CYPRUS: London, 20 – In an interview with the Daily Express newspaper, Greek Foreign Minister Evangelos Averoff said from London that Greece would never sit down at the negotiations table with Turkey unless the success of the talks was assured beforehand. «However,» he added, «in the current friendly atmosphere, it is possible that we will have substantial results very shortly.» Greece will not reiterate its demand for union with Cyprus, according to the newspaper, which added that Averoff wanted a solution to the Cyprus issue that included complete self-government for the island, guarantees for the Turkish minority and the continuing presence of British bases on the island. If Britain resisted a permanent solution at this time, then Averoff was willing to accept a transition period of internal self-government, leaving open the question of the island’s future. Averoff then said that the Macmillan plan did not comply with Greece’s terms. He said that if the death sentences on two Cypriot prisoners in Cyprus were carried out, he would not continue talking to Britain. «I hope that the right conditions will be created to restore sincere friendly relations between Greece and Britain,» he said.

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