Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has said that the Turkish occupied town of Morphou is among the areas that must be returned to the Greek Cypriots, under their administration, once a settlement of the Cyprus problem is achieved.
Speaking during an anti-occupation rally organised on Sunday by the Morphou municipality and communities, the President also assured the Turkish Cypriots that necessary assistance will be given to those who will have to be relocated so that Greek Cypriots will be able to return to their houses, adding that his presence at the rally indicates his will to support this position and his determination to pursue what the people of Morphou want so that a solution can be accepted.
Therefore, he added, Morphou must be among the areas that should be under the Greek Cypriot administration.
The President underlined that the solution sought will be a win-win situation, and welcomed Ankara`s positive rhetoric, noting however that Turkey must also show a positive stance at the negotiating table, particularly as regards the chapters where it has a decisive role to play, such as the withdrawal of its occupation troops from the island and the security system.
President Anastasiades said the terrirory issue which will now be discussed at the talks and the chapter concerning security and guarantees will determine the success or failure of the effort, which he described as hopeful so far.
He assured Turkish Cypriots that any needs arising due to territorial re-adjustments will be met, noting that those who will have to leave the Greek Cypriots` houses will be given appropriate accommodation.
At the same time, he underlined that “we are not ready to accept a bad solution, because a bad solution will have the same detrimental results as a non-solution.”
President Anastasiades, who since May last year has been engaged, along with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, in UN-led talks aiming to reunify the island, stressed that the settlement will take into consideration both communities` concerns and will make the country an example of ethnic, cultural, religious and lingual cooperation among people.
Furthermore, he reiterated that the settlement must provide for a functional governance system with all European characteristics, and that Cyprus` EU membership creates conditions and safeguards security for a really reunited country.
President Anastasiades said that they shall not hide the disagreements which have been recorded, adding at the same time that they will not let them discourage them. He expressed the belief that a wise approach and a spirit of reconciliation will prevail in the end.
He noted that a modern European state, which respects human rights and implements values and principles, does not justify any demand for the presence of an occupation army or for guarantee and intervention rights by third countries.
The rally of Morphou inhabitants ended at Astromeritis check point where a petition was handed over to the UN calling on them to exert pressure on Turkey to change its stance and work for a just settlement of the Cyprus problem and for the restoration of all Cypriots` basic human rights.
“Cyprus must remain an independent united state, with a single sovereignty, a single personality and territorial integrity,” the petition added, noting that a solution must not give any country the right to intervene in the state`s internal affairs.
The people of Morphou also stress that the UN Secretary General`s contribution to defending Cyprus` sovereignty and to efforts for freedom and justice is of major importance.
In his address, read out by Acting House President, Adamos Adamou, House President Demetris Syllouris expressed the wish that Turkey will change its long-standing intransigent position, so that the effort which is underway will bear fruit.
He assured that “on our part we will continue to do our utmost for a just, viable and functional settlement, according to international law, the UN relevant resolutions and the European values and principles, so that there will be no occupation army and obsolete guarantees in Cyprus, and the acquis communautaire will be implemented all over the island with no derogations, and all Cypriots, as equal European citizens, will be able to enjoy human rights and basic freedoms.”
Syllouris noted that a Cyprus settlement will not only bring peace and security in Cyprus, but will also have a positive impact on the Middle East region.
Morphou Mayor Charalambos Pittas sent the message that the occupied town belongs to its legal owners and no one else, and stressed the need for a just, functional and viable settlement, that will safeguard the respect of all Cypriots` human rights and basic freedoms.
British MP Theresa Villiers expressed support to efforts for a Cyprus settlement, noting that Anastasiades and Akinci have shown their will for a settlement that will reunify the island.
Greek MP Maria Triantafyllou, addressing the event on behalf of the Greek Speaker and the Hellenic Parliament said that a Cyprus settlement must be in line with international law, noting that Greece will stand by Cyprus and support its decisions.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory.