China's President sympathetic to Cyprus issue

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Greece's President Prokopis Pavlopoulos said that Chinese President, Xi Jinping expressed understanding for the Cyprus issue and Turkey's illegal activities in Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) during their meeting on Tuesday.

"I explained that the solution of the Cyprus problem based on respect for the sovereignty of Cyprus, as well as the defence of Cyprus's EEZ - which is also an EEZ of the European Union - are essentially demanded by respect for both international law and European law. And I think, without wishing to exaggerate in this direction, that there is understanding on China's part, which is extremely important given that, at this time, we also have the understanding of both the United States and NATO and, especially, of the European Union."

Concerning his discussion with the Chinese president on Greek-Chinese relations, as well as China's relations with the EU, Pavlopoulos said: "We Greeks see Greece as part of the international community, as a partner of the EU. And we operate within this framework with respect to our relations with China. I made it clear that we are pursuing the best possible relations with China, but always with full respect for international law as regards economic relations and trade, the European acquis and the European framework for the same relations."

At the same time, he noted that "it is in the interests of both China and the West, and Europe, to work together in this direction because this economic cooperation will be the basis for a wider cooperation and co-creation at the international level, which we all need. I also explained that the foundation of this cooperation can and should be the Dialogue of Civilisations. It is wrong, as I stressed - I have said this repeatedly, I stressed it once again - to believe that there is a conflict of civilisations. On the contrary, there is a lack of communication, which we Greeks want to restore, by all means at our disposal. And the best instrument, of course, is the Dialogue of Civilisations. Through this Dialogue of Civilisations, we can understand that the things that unite us are far more than those that divide us.”