President Demetris Christofias stressed that he will accept no pressure and no moves aiming at relinquishing principles and imposing a settlement contrary to UN Security Council resolutions.
Speaking during a ceremony at the Presidential Palace to honour those who have suffered and those who were injured during the military coup and the Turkish invasion in 1974, Christofias underlined that “we reject categorically the idea of becoming complacent with the division of our country and with the idea of handing over half of our country to Turkey”, adding that “division is detrimental to the country and its people.”
Christofias stressed that the only attainable solution that can lead to freedom and reunification is a bizonal, bicommunal federation with a single sovereignty, citizenship and international personality.
“We continue to defend principles at the negotiating table. We continue to struggle for the implementation of international and European law in Cyprus. We will not abandon our efforts in spite of the difficulties we face,” he added.
The President also stressed the need for unity “to achieve our goals,” and noted that “any change in our strategic goal – which is to achieve a bizonal, bicommunal federaton with political equality as described by UN Security Council resolutions – will give the chance to Turkey to disengage itself from its commitment to the reunification of Cyprus through a federal solution and to promote, without any problems and repercussions on Ankara, its divisive plans on Cyprus.”
“Undoubtedly the achievement of a settlement does not depend on us. It primarily depends on Turkey, which must change its intransigent stance. We are working hard towards this direction, consolidating Cyprus’ position internationally and making use of Europe’s role,” he added.
President Christofias said that this ceremony should have taken place many years ago to pay tribute to the disabled, those who suffered and those who were injured during the coup and the Turkish invasion in 1974.
“Even 37 years later, our government fulfills this duty of the state after a decision of the Council of Ministers,” he noted and thanked all those who fought to defend Cyprus and their families.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. The two sides in Cyprus are currently engaged in UN-backed direct negotiations which began in September 2008 with a view to solve the Cyprus problem.