Greece's alternate defence minister visits Cyprus, meets Fokaides, Cyprus Parliament president

Greece's Alternate Defence Minister Dimitris Vitsas on Wednesday talks here with Cyprus' Defence Minister Christoforos Fokaides on closer cooperation in defence and defence industry issues, after which he expressed hope that 2016 will be a year "when we make a step forward for both Cyprus and Greece.

"It is better to work for a solution than talk of a solution," he said in statements after the meeting. He noted that it was Greece and Cyprus' common goal to end the Turkish occupation and find a comprehensive, nationally acceptable and viable solution to the Cyprus problem, based on UN resolutions and Cyprus' membership of the EU.
Vitsas said that Greece does not intervene in the negotiations on the Cyprus issue but supports the effort of the Cyprus government. "We made it clear in all directions that a true and viable solution of the Cyprus problem is not conceivable without the withdrawal of all occupation troops and without the abolition of the anachronistic 1960s system of guarantees," he added.
Ankara was expected to show a constructive attitude through specific actions that actively contribute to efforts for a solution, he said.
Fokaides briefed Vitsas on the latest developments concerning the Cyprus issue and efforts for a viable and functional solution that will end the occupation and reunite all legal residents of the island republic in conditions of freedom, security and peaceful coexistence.
He said the meeting with Vitsas was also an opportunity to review the steady and systematic effort to constantly strengthen and deepen bilateral relations, in the light of new developments and challenges in the area of security.
Vitsas met Cyprus House of Representatives President Yiannakis Omirou and discussed the Cyprus issue, the migration crisis and the economy.

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