Without a settlement of the Cyprus problem the survival of the people of Cyprus will continue to be at risk, Turkey will never be able to become an EU member and normality and stability will not be safeguarded in the South-Eastern Mediterranean area, Cyprus President Demetris Christofias has noted.
Christofias said that many would win from a just settlement to the Cyprus problem, while all those involved will lose if the destructive division of the island continues.
Speaking at a ceremony during which he was awarded an Honourary Doctorate by the European University of Cyprus, President Christofias reiterated that the settlement of the Cyprus problem constitute a goal of his life.
“My vision is to terminate occupation, division and the ongoing illegal settling,” he noted, adding that “the Turkish Cypriot community is in danger due to the ongoing illegal settling, while the uncontrolled flow of settlers in Cyprus and the violation of the sovereignty of the independent Republic of Cyprus constitutes a huge danger for the Greek Cypriots.”
If division becomes permanent and legitimate, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriot will lose a great part of their country permanently.
“Our vision is that Cyprus will become a bridge of solidarity and social cohesion for the southeastern Mediterranean region. To become a basis of cooperation and economic development, an area for the development of science and letters, an example for all neighboring countries and neighboring nations. An area for dialogue and conciliation. A leading force for the economic development and geopolitical importance of the region“, Christofias said.
He recalled that in about a year, the Republic of Cyprus will assume the EU Presidency saying that this is a national duty. “Our wish is that a united, federal Republic of Cyprus will take over the EU Presidency. This depends almost entirely on the attitude of the Turkish Cypriot leadership and Turkey at the negotiating table,“ he said.
Christofias said that the fact that Turkey claims that it builds a policy of “zero problems’ with its neighbouring countries, while it illegally occupies part of an independent and sovereign country as Cyprus, a UN and EU member state, is a major contradiction.
He also noted that the possible discovery of natural gas and oil in the EEC of the Republic of Cyprus constitutes an additional motive for the Turkish Cypriot side to work for a Cyprus settlement.
“We aim that both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots will enjoy the benefits of a possible exploitation of any Cypriot reserves, in a free and reunified Cyprus,” he said.
Christofias thanked the European University of Cyprus for this honour, in recognition of his contribution and his work as a politician.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Negotiations are currently underway between President Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglou for a solution of the Cyprus problem