Cyprus’ President, Nikos Christodoulides on Holy Saturday said, in his televised Easter message that he was working with all his might, for the liberation and reunification of the country.

He also noted that the unstable geopolitical environment creates an unpredictable scenario internationally as well as in our region and that the Government has been working from the first moment, to ensure the economic stability of the country, its internal security, but also to highlight Cyprus’ stabilising role.

The President said that, “unfortunately”, the message of the resurrection will not be heard, yet for another year, “in our occupied churches, which have remained silent for 50 years”.

Addressing the enclaved persons, the displaced, the relatives of the fallen and the missing, as well as the entire Cypriot people, he assured that, “my first concern, despite the difficulties and challenges due to the behaviour of the Turkish side, is the resumption of substantive negotiations for the solution of the Cyprus issue on the basis of the agreed framework”.

He said that he was working towards this direction “with all my strength”, noting that his “vision” and “priority” were “to liberate our homeland, to reunite it, based on the resolutions of the United Nations and the principles and values of the EU”.

He reiterated that the current state of affairs “cannot be the future of our country”. “This is not the future we envision for our homeland, for Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Maronites, Armenians and Latins and all the legal residents of this country”, he noted.

President Christodoulides also expressed optimism that, despite the multiple challenges, the country’s economy remains on a development trajectory, “with even more positive prospects for the future”, as a result of “the responsible and prudent policy we are following”. It is precisely this, he added, “that allows us to practice a targeted social policy that is human-centered”, aimed at supporting vulnerable groups of the population, the middle class, households, but also businesses, the elderly, single parents, large families, disabled people, “and all those who need our support”.

The President also said that the issues of migration, housing, rising energy costs and the need to proceed with bold institutional reforms were key areas on which the Government was working “methodically, on the basis of a holistic approach for permanent and viable solutions”.

He said that the Government was working on expanding the productive base of the economy that will be based more on research, innovation, and technology, while it invests in education and healthcare, “which, for our Government, are the main pillars for a better tomorrow”.

Ending his speech, President Christodoulides wished everyone a “Happy Easter”.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively. In January, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres appointed María Ángela Holguín Cuéllar of Columbia as his personal envoy for Cyprus, to assume a Good Offices role on his behalf and search for common ground on the way forward in the Cyprus issue.

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