Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has said that an effort to heal decade old wounds is currently underway through the ongoing negotiations for the reunification of Cyprus, noting that it is not easy and promising at the same time that nothing will keep him from the task ahead, to peacefully resolve the island’s political problem.
Cyprus was divided in 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. UN backed talks resumed in May last year aiming to reunite the island under a federal roof.
President Anastasiades was delivering a speech on Sunday at a memorial service for Grigoris Afxendiou, who was burnt alive during the EOKA 1955 – 1959 liberation struggle against British colonial rule when he refused to surrender.
“In the context of the ongoing dialogue in which we have engaged for the solution of the Cyprus problem we seek to heal decade old wounds. As you may realise, this is not easy because we have to deal with faits accomplis,” on the ground, he said.
However, he stressed, “nothing will disappoint us and nothing will deter us from the effort to peacefully resolve the Cyprus problem.”
There is no other way forward for a country but to rid itself of occupation armies, from the barbed wires of division, he said, adding that such a homeland would be an example of peaceful co-existence and progress.
“This is the only win – win recipe for Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. Any other option will merely perpetuate insecurity, uncertainty and inability to make the most of this land`s capabilities for growth,” he stressed. Today, he said, there is an opportunity for a political settlement.
“I do not claim that there will be no other opportunity, but at this moment at least the concurrent circumstances are such that they allow us to hope that through this effort, which takes place with EU involvement for the first time through the acceptance of the acquis communautaire, we can protect our country`s unity, freedom of movement, freedom of establishment, the right to property and work throughout the island’s territory. We will make the most of it,” the President added.
He also said that it is time to work with sincerity and under conditions of unity because as – he put it – he believes that despite ideological differences there is one goal uniting everyone and that is to free the island of Turkey’s occupation.
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY