CNA News

Small states can give solutions to international issues, President says

Cyprus President Nikos Christodoulides pointed out that Cyprus has demonstrated that even small states, when they have clear goals and a clear orientation, can offer solutions to regional and international challenges.

He was speaking on Friday morning to students of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, at the Presidential Palace.

Addressing the students and their professors, President Christodoulides highlighted Cyprus’ successful initiative to provide humanitarian aid to Gaza. Despite initial skepticism when it was presented, he expressed satisfaction that the initiative has begun to be implemented, demonstrating Cyprus’ capability to contribute within its means.

“The Republic of Cyprus is a country which, within its means, can offer solutions to European, international, and regional issues,” President Christodoulides affirmed.

Referring to Cyprus’ experience with tragedies, the President condemned actions resulting in civilian casualties and stressed the urgent need for a ceasefire.

Furthermore, he suggested leveraging the international interest garnered by Cyprus’ initiative to advance the primary goal of ending the Turkish occupation of the island and achieving reunification.

President Christodoulides also noted the importance of student presence in Cyprus, particularly in a year marked by significant milestones for the island.

“This year, 2024, is a historic year for Cyprus. Historic because it marks 50 years, half a century, since the Turkish invasion,” he noted, urging continued efforts to end the unacceptable situation of occupation.

Acknowledging his unique responsibility as the first President from the post-war generation, President Christodoulides expressed concern over the deteriorating situation in Cyprus, emphasising the increasing challenges hindering efforts for a resolution.

The passing of time creates new problems, new difficulties, new challenges and “takes us even further away from the goal,” the President said.

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.