President Nicos Anastasiades has called on Turkey to reconsider its responsibilities as regards the Cyprus problem and realize that “the time has come to solve it together, by taking bold steps and working together to put an end to this long- standing problem that has cost suffering and pain to the people of this country.”

Speaking during the unveiling of the bust of the EOKA 1955-59 hero Stavros Stylianides, President Anastasiades expressed his determination to work for a Cyprus settlement, noting that the solution of the Cyprus problem, the termination of the Turkish occupation and the reunification of the county constitute a high priority for the Cyprus government. In this framework, we have some concrete positions and views, a concrete and targeted strategy decided in cooperation with the members of the National Council, he added.

Anastasiades also made clear that the Greek Cypriot side will not proceed to the UN-led talks, aiming to solve the Cyprus problem, for the sake of the talks, if there is no required preparation, so that the process and the essence of the negotiations  give real hope “that we can expect the new round of talks to produce results that will lift occupation, reunite the country, safeguard human rights and create the prospects and preconditions that will put the country on the same footing as the other EU countries.”

He expressed the conviction that through unity and cooperation the Greek Cypriot side will be able to get prepared so that its proposals will be convincing, “and express our determination and will to find a just, viable and functional settlement, fully in line with what the EU requires from its member states.”

He stressed that “we will not show contempt or ignore anyone’s concerns – and I mean those of Turkish Cypriots. But we will also note ignore the justified concerns, claims and expectations of Greek Cypriots.”

The President noted that Cyprus is currently going through the worst period after the Turkish invasion of 1974, due to the deadlocks and the challenges it faces as regards the Cyprus problem and the financial crisis.

“We are making huge efforts so that the country can overcome the adverse financial situation. At the same time we are working to achieve a settlement of our national problem, something which constitutes a high priority for the country and its people,” he added.

He stressed that the settlement must create the conditions that will give to all Cypriots – Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots – the opportunity to co-exist peacefully and cooperate in a modern European state.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. A new round of peace talks is expected to start this autumn, to find a negotiated settlement that will reunify the country, under a federal roof.

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