Ankara should let Cypriots decide on their own future, President says

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has said that he is trying, through his international contacts, to influence Ankara so that it realises that a solution will benefit everyone and that Cypriots should be allowed to decide their own future.

President Anastasiades was addressing, on Sunday, a national memorial for Pantelis Katelaris, an EOKA fighter during the independence struggle against colonial rule in 1955 – 1959, in Episkopio village, Limassol, a presidency press release issued here today says.

Referring to the Cyprus problem he recalled that upon his assumption of his duties five years ago he promised to act within the boundaries of national dignity, to make an effort with courage and determination “in order to reach a solution which will meet the concerns of Turkish Cypriots without ignoring the rightful demands of Greek Cypriots.”

At the same time, he added, I considered that “in order to operate as a truly European state, we should be truly independent, absolutely independent, absolutely sovereign, so that Cypriots will decide about Cyprus, not Turkey via the Turkish Cypriots.”

“I kept my promise. And I am truly sorry that (Turkey’s) intransigence did not lead to the longed-for reunification in this difficult, determined effort we made,” he noted.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. The latest round of UN-peace talks at the Swiss resort of Crans – Montana ended without an agreement. Talks held under the auspices of the UN aim at reunifying Cyprus under a federal roof.

President Anastasiades said that he has conveyed the message to everyone in the international and European community that he is ready to return to the negotiating table on the internal aspects of the Cyprus problem but that in order for a new Conference on Cyprus to be reconvened sufficient preparation must take place so that Ankara’s positions on matters of security can be crystal clear.

At the same time he assured that he is making an effort, through the presence of Security Council permanent members, so that Ankara is influenced in such a way that it realises not only that a solution of the Cyprus problem would be to the benefit of the people of Cyprus, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, and Ankara itself, but also that “we should be at last allowed to decide of our own future, Cypriots should decide as to how to move forward in the future, and they (Ankara) should stop considering that they can create a protectorate within Cyprus through imposing their position on the Turkish Cypriots.”

I would like to hope, he noted, that a change of approach will take place, because we do not wish for new heroes, rather we want to see our compatriots, young people, working, prospering and creating for the benefit of our country.”

This, President Anastasiades should take place in conditions of peace, stability and in particular in a state which will be completely in line with the acquis communautaire.

source: CNA