Athens and Nicosia must be the guardians of the effort to find a solution to the Cyprus issue, in spite of Turkey’s intransigency, main opposition New Democracy’s shadow minister for the Cyprus problem George Koumoutsakos said in statements published on Sunday.

Speaking to the Greek newspaper “Vradyni,” the MP noted that the Geneva meeting was a step toward a solution but that “many serious issues remain outstanding”. The effort must continue, Koumoutsakos added, since the current regime of illegal occupation was unacceptable and had to end.

“Yes to a solution. No, however, to any proposed solution,” he emphasized.

Asked to comment on press reports claiming disagreements and bad feeling between Greece’s Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias and Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, Koumoutsakos said he discounted press reports over the official announcements issued by Athens and Nicosia. He emphasized the absolute necessity to keep national unity and close coordination intact.

Koumoutsakos attributed Turkey’s intransigence and its insistence that Turkish troops remain in Cyprus to geostrategic and geopolitical reasons, while expressing hope that Ankara can overcome such inflexibility and realise that a solution leading to a reunited European Cyprus will benefit the entire region and thus Turkey itself.

He criticized the Greek government, however, of being “trapped in ideology” and having a “proven, deeply deficient negotiating ability” that did not inspire any sense of confidence and trust.

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