Pavlopoulos stresses threat to Cyprus in talks with Xi Jinping

By George Gilson

President Prokopis Pavlopoulos placed the threats to Cyprus' sovereignty and Greece's support for a Cyprus problem settlement at the top of the agenda in talks with Chinese President Xi Jingpin in Beijing today, even as he underlined that Athens is fully aligned with Brussels on policy issues concerning Beijing.

"We Greeks, precisely because we have a sense of our membership in the international community and of course in the European Union, approach our national issues on that basis [of international and EU law]," Pavlopoulos said following the talks.

"Particularly as regards the Cyprus problem and the problems that Cyprus confronts today, I explained that the solution of the Cyprus problem based on respect for the sovereignty of Cyprus and the defence of Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which is also the EEZ of the EU, are mandated by respect for international law and European law," he underlined.

Pavlopoulos : Xi shows 'understanding' on Cyprus

"I believe, without wanting to exaggerate on this, that there is understanding on the part of China, and that is exceptionally important, especially given the fact that we have the understanding of the US, Nato, and of course of the European Union," the president said.

Key Greek role in Silk Road

Greece is an exceptionally important partner for Beijing as an important hub between Asia and Central Europe in the new Silk Road project, the "Belt and Road Initiative", which Greece officially joined in August, 2018.

Athens' role in Beijing's ambitious plan was firmly established when Chinese giant Cosco acquired the Port of Piraeus concession in August, 2016, amidst very strong resistance from dockworkers unions.

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