President of the Republic of Cyprus Nikos Christodoulides said that 50 years as a refugee is too many, noting that “we must do everything possible to end the occupation of our homeland, to see it reunited and become a place of peaceful coexistence for all its lawful residents”.

The President made the remark in a speech at the inauguration ceremony of the temporary offices of the Municipality of Morphou and the Union of Occupied Communities of Nicosia District.

Addressing the refugees, he said that, despite the difficulties and challenges, “we will do everything possible to create the conditions for the resumption of talks and for a solution to the Cyprus problem on the basis of the agreed framework”.

There is no other option, he continued, “we will never and cannot come to terms with the present state of affairs and we will never, ever accept the division of our homeland”.

As an active and substantial member state of the European Union, he said, “with a word and a role in the events of Brussels and with the support of Greece, which has always supported us in this effort, as well as with the contribution of our partners, we continue our efforts to put an end to illegality, the unacceptable current state of affairs’.

“Despite the difficulties, problems and challenges, we have a specific plan and strategy, we know where we are going, we are doing everything possible to achieve the goal of resuming not just meaningful talks, but the main issue is the solution”, he said.

President Christodoulides also said that, until “the reunification of our country”, the Government is doing everything possible in relation to its refugee policy”.

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.

Leave a Reply