Mitsotakis on Cyprus: We choose peace and reconciliation, without giving up sovereign rights
"History, which is recorded in books and in memories, is alive and present and reminds us of our obligation to defend justice and not be complacent," Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Tuesday from the Cyprus Republic, where he is wrapping up a two-day official visit.
Mitsotakis made his statements during a visit to the Hellenic Force on Cyprus (ELDIK).
Earlier, he met with Archbishop Chrysostomos II.
He also paid an official visit to the 'jailed cemetery', in the central jail of Nicosia where the British buried resistance fighters during the 1955-59 struggle for independence, and laid a wereath at the tomb of unknown soldiers in the area of Makedonitissa, where Greeks and Greek Cypriots who died during struggles against the Turks in 1964 and 1974 have been buried.
In statements at the ELDIK camp in Malounda, where he also laid a wreath, Mitsotakis said, "We live in a troubled era with challenges to stability. Our message is explicit: No illegal behavior will be left without response. We choose peace and reconciliation, but we defend our sovereign rights, and we are not alone. We are suppoted by all EU member-states, which have already sent a clear message that the challenge to sovereign rights of Cyprus and illegal drilling (in the Cyprus EEZ) will bring repercussions and affect EU-Turkish relations negatively. It's not just Europe: Greece and Cyprus have strong allies in the area."
He added that illegal drilling for oil "isolate and undermine Turkey. My presence here marks the clear support Greece has for Cyprus' absolute right to exploit the entirety of its energy resources within the Cyprus EEZ."
The premier, who met on Monday with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and other officials, then departed Larnaca for Athens at 12.00 noon.
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