Hellenism must stay united in order to achieve the immediate withdrawal of Turkish occupation troops from Cyprus and put an end to the “mockery” of guarantees, Greek National Defence Minister Panos Kammenos said on Thursday.
Speaking after the military parade, in Nicosia, marking the 55th anniversary since the declaration of Cyprus` Independence, Kammenos said that a Republic is not in need of guarantees.
Citizens themselves are the guarantor forces in a Republic, the Greek Minister said, adding that the Republic of Cyprus has proven that it can stand on its own feet.
Kammenos further noted that the international community must work in favour of a just solution on Cyprus, that will reunite the island and “will allow a future parade to take place in Rizokarpaso, in Famagusta, in Kyrenia, in the currently occupied areas” of the island.
Kammenos visited early in the morning the site where a Greek airplane was shot down by friendly fire, in the wake of Turkey`s invasion, in the summer of 1974. Currently, the area is being excavated to locate the remains of Greek soldiers the “Nord Noratlas” type airplane was carrying, before it was shot down when mistakenly taken for enemy aircraft. Kammenos was briefed on the progress of the excavations by Presidential Commissioner for Humanitarian Issues Photis Photiou and the project leader Xenophon Kallis.
The Greek Minister was also received after the parade by the President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades, at the Presidential Palace.
Cyprus celebrates on October 1st the declaration of its independence from British colonial rule, in 1960. The island has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. UN-led talks, aiming to reunite the island under a federal roof, resumed on May 15, this year.
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY