The President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos called on Europe to recognise that the Cyprus issue is not a national problem but an international one and that any solution to the island must be compatible with European law.
Pavlopoulos made the statements during his address to the plenary session of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg on Wednesday.
"Greece and Cyprus are ready to contribute to the solution of the problem. For us it is an open plague that since 1974 there has been a foreign troop on Cyprus. We consider that the Cyprus problem is not a national problem of Greece and Cyprus, it is an international and European problem," the President of the Republic said.
"Cyprus is a member state of the EU and of the Eurozone," he added stressing that any solution for the Cyprus issue should be according to the European law and especially with the meaning of EU-member state sovereignty. The principle of the sovereignty of an EU member state does not tolerate the existence of occupying troops and guarantees after the solution of the Cyprus issue."
"What precedent would we have created for any EU member state if we were to resolve the Cyprus problem with the occupation troops remaining in the area?" Pavolopoulos asked.
Finally, Pavlopoulos stated that Turkey will also gain from a solution that respects the principle of sovereignty of an EU member state under European law. As he said, Turkey has no interest in having this "non-solution" and the occupation troops, because the Turkish Cypriots themselves are also victims of this.