05 April, 2006
Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis arrived in Nicosia on Tuesday for her first official visit to Cyprus as a foreign minister. She was welcomed at Larnaca airport by her Cypriot counterpart George Iacovou, who spoke of the "constant and unremitting" cooperation of Greece and Cyprus.
Noting the warm, "brotherly" relations between the governments of Greece and Cyprus, Iacovou also referred to the new impetus now surrounding the Cyprus issue following the meeting between Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos and United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
Bakoyannis reiterated the Greek position for a "final, viable and just solution" to the Cyprus problem that was based on international law, the European 'acquis' and the decisions of the UN Security Council for the benefit of the entire Cypriot people.
The Greek minister underlined that solving the political problem on Cyprus was a top priority for the Greek government, while stressing that the Annan plan "in the form that it was presented to the Cypriot people, has been rejected and is now history."
According to Bakoyannis, any new initiative for the Cyprus problem must be based on the previous work done by a succession of UN chiefs.
She also emphasized the significance of the Annan-Papadopoulos meeting, saying she had an opportunity to discover this for herself during her recent visit to the United States, while stressing the need to make use of the new impetus that emerged from this meeting.
Bakoyannis met President Papadopoulos on Tuesday afternoon. Her agenda for today includes a meeting with Iacovou in the morning, followed by separate meetings with Cypriot House of Representatives President Demetris Christofias and the leaders of the Cypriot political parties.
There will also be a meeting with Nicosia Mayor Michalakis Zambelas and a visit to the ceasefire line in Nicosia and in Malounda.
The cooperation between Greece and Cyprus is continuous and will intensify further in the future, Dora Bakoyannis said after her meeting with President of the Republic of Cyprus Tassos Papadopoulos here on Tuesday.
Bakoyannis said her discussion with Papadopoulos was particularly friendly and useful.
Later on Tuesday, Bakoyannis was due to have a private dinner with Papadopoulos at the latter's residence.
Source: Athens News Agency