CNA News

Continued Turkish occupation of Cyprus a European issue, House President says

The fact that Cyprus remains under Turkish occupation for over half a century is a European issue, said House of Representatives President, Annita Demetriou, on Friday morning.

She was speaking during a tour of the ceasefire line in Nicosia with representatives of European parliaments, who are in Cyprus for a special event to mark the 20th anniversary of the country’s accession to the EU.

President of the House of Representatives of Malta, Dr. Angelo Farrugia, First Vice-President of the Greek Parliament, Ioannis Plakiotakis, Vice-President of the Parliament of Lithuania, Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė, and Vice-President of the National Assembly of Slovenia, Danijel Krivec are in Cyprus following an invitation by Demetriou.

As part of their visit, they were given a guided tour along the ceasefire line, the line dividing the northern Turkish occupied areas from the southern government-controlled part of the country, accompanied by the House of Representatives President.

“This day could not start any differently than here at the Green Line,” so that her guests could witness first hand what continues to be the situation in Cyprus 50 years later, Demetriou said in statements.

She reiterated that Cyprus’ EU accession is its greatest diplomatic advantage. Nevertheless, she added, “the fact that Cyprus continues to be under occupation for half a century is also a European issue.”

It is time, she stressed that all of us, “including the EU”, to take responsibility in dealing with the illegal invasion and occupation.

Demetriou added that we need to see how we safeguard peace, stability and prosperity for our countries and the EU, especially today, with everything that is happening not only in the Middle East, but in the heart of Europe, with the ongoing war and how “it’s necessary to safeguard our norms and our principles in a period where everything is so challenging.”