February 2, 2015 / 7:05 PM / 3 years ago

Greek PM Tsipras seeks backing from Cyprus over austerity stance

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras asked for backing from Cyprus on Monday as he pushed ahead with a drive to persuade Europe to accept a new debt agreement to replace its international bailout accord.

On his first foreign visit as prime minister, Tsipras said Greece’s special relationship with neighboring Cyprus meant that its support was particularly important.

“In this effort for social justice, to bring back an agenda of growth and employment in Europe, in the effort for the rights of our people we want you by our side,” he said in an address to parliament in Nicosia.

“We want you by our side in this important effort we are starting against an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in our country,” he said.

Reporting by Michele Kambas and Costas Pitas; editing by James Mackenzie

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