President of the Republic Nikos Christodoulides sent a message of optimism about the Cyprus problem from Athienou on Sunday, assuring that “despite the difficulties, problems and challenges we have to face every day due to Turkish intransigence, we will never turn away from the effort to free our country and reunite it”.

Speaking at the inauguration of the “Nikos Mouyiaris” amphitheatre of the Athienou School Board, in Larnaca district, the President of the Republic said that “just a few meters from the occupation barbed wire that keeps our country divided, I want to send a message of optimism to everyone, and to assure you that, despite the difficulties, the problems, the challenges that we have to face every day because of Turkish intransigence, we will never turn away from the effort to liberate our country and reunite it.”

“In our dreams, as in Nikos’ dreams, the occupation will never have a place, simply because we want to see this land reunited and realise its potential in its entirety,” he added.

The President noted that “what has been our constant demand, and has recently been submitted again on our part on our own initiative, is for the Pyroi checkpoint to open. Think of the prospects if it worked or if Cyprus was reunited.”

He also said that “our side has demonstrated in practice that it supports the efforts of the UN Secretary General, we are not afraid to discuss, we are not afraid of dialogue, and we are doing everything possible so that the initiative of his personal envoy opens a window of opportunity, so that through the discussion we can see the prospects for the resumption of talks.”

He further underlined “once again the determination of the Government and me personally, to fully support our remote areas, which in essence, what you are doing in Athienou, are the custodians of our occupied territories and the forerunners of the reunification of our homeland.” 

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.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres appointed María Ángela Holguín Cuéllar of Colombia 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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