The President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades has stressed that the island`s current division, as a result of the continuing Turkish occupation, must not be allowed to become permanent.
He also said that the tragedy of the invasion must not be allowed to run full circle.
In a statement to CNA on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Turkish invasion, Anastasiades expressed the belief that current conditions allow a win-win solution of the Cyprus problem, provided the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey understand this.
He noted that a solution that will safeguard the rights of Greek Cypriots, without denying the rights of Turkish Cypriots, is feasible.
Referring to the benefits of a solution, President Anastasiades said that “with the Cyprus problem solved, there will be more opportunities to exploit the hydrocarbons reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean and create conditions of reconciliation between Greece and Turkey.”
He pointed out that “at the same time the solution will help consolidate a sentiment of stability and bring significant investments to the benefit of all the legal inhabitants of the country.”
President Anastasiades underlined that the “the future of the country and our children will be brighter and more hopeful if we manage to overcome the obstacles and make it possible to abolish the dividing lines, through a federal Republic of Cyprus, in which the acquis communautaire will be applicable from Paphos to Karpasia and from Limassol to Kyrenia.”
“The Turkish invasion of Cyprus is a tragic event that has overturned the history of this island over the centuries,” he said, in a message to the people of Cyprus to mark this sad anniversary.
“The expulsion of the Greek population from the occupied part of Cyprus, the establishment of all Turkish Cypriots in the northern part of Cyprus and the organized colonization of the occupied areas by Turkey have created a new reality on the ground,” he noted.
As the years go by, the President warned, “there is the risk that this temporary situation could turn into a permanent one. What I am concerned and anxious about is not to allow the permanent division of Cyprus. My message on the occasion of this anniversary is that we have to prevent this tragedy to complete its course.”
Asked about current prospects of a political settlement, the President expressed the belief that “today we have the prerequisites that will allow a win-win solution as long as the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey understand this.”
Cyprus, he added, “has a regional role to play which is much greater than its size, once its political problem is resolved.”
Noting that “the geopolitical balance in the region is being redesigned”, the President said that “Cyprus is the only country in our region that can become the best example of coexistence of Christians and Muslims, that will maintain excellent relations with Israel and with all Arab countries.”
“With the Cyprus problem solved, there will be greater opportunities to exploit hydrocarbons reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean and conditions of reconciliation between Greece and Turkey will be created,” he added.
He said that “at the same time the solution will help consolidate a sentiment of stability and will help to bring significant investments to the benefit of all the legitimate inhabitants of the country.”
The solution, he pointed out, “will bring many benefits and I see no reason why we shall not be able to achieve this. “
“My wish and my hope is that the other side will understand the dynamics of this period to that we will be celebrating the anniversary of the solution and not the sad anniversary of the tragedy of 1974,” he concluded.