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Debt-ridden Greece, Cyprus discuss economic issues

(Xinhua)    20:21, February 02, 2015

NICOSIA, Feb 2- Visiting Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras held talks here on Monday with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades to discuss issues of common concern including debts, on his first visit abroad since taking office.

The talks were focused on economic issues including relations with international lenders, according to Cypriot government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides.

But he hinted that the two bailed-out countries do not see eye to eye on how to precede forward.

Echoing an earlier statement that Cyprus and Greece will not act jointly to deal with their common international lenders, the spokesman said Greece's case is quite different from that of Cyprus.

"The two countries have followed different policies," he added.

In the meantime, the spokesman hoped that discussions between the Greek government and its lenders on a new debt agreement would reach a positive conclusion as this would benefit Cyprus as well.

Greece entered a bail-out program four years ago that has led to deep income cuts, high unemployment rates and economic stagnation.

Cyprus was bailed out in March 2013, and it is close to achieving growth this year. The country is also close to returning to international markets after being shut out since 2011.

Tsipras and his Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis have embarked on a campaign to convince major European players including France and Germany to accept a new deal that would secure funds for Greece while it is rolling back on austerity measures.

The Cypriot government is committed to fully applying an economic adjustment program agreed with its lenders -- the Eurogroup and the International Monetary Fund -- as a means out of its economic woes.

The government spokesman said Tsipras's talks with President Anastasiades would also touch upon bilateral issues as well as the Cyprus issue regarding alleged Turkish violation of the country's exclusive economic zone.

Greece and Cyprus, tied by close ethnic relations, are bound by a defense agreement to face what they consider as aggressive policies by Turkey against both countries.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Ma Xiaochun,Bianji)

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