Cyprus President’s message for the New Year
Nicosia, Dec 31 (CNA) - Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos wished, in his message on the occasion of the New Year, deliverance and vindication of the struggle of the Cyprus people and expressed belief that better days will dawn for Cyprus.
He also called upon all to join forces and unite, noting that ''only united can we hope and be certain about a happier future for our country''.
In his message, President Papadopoulos made a special reference to the tragedy in southeast Asia that was hit by the tsunami waves triggered by a 9 point on the Richter scale quake on Sunday, and called upon the Cyprus people to contribute to efforts to alleviate the suffering of the victims. He also expressed on behalf of the government and the people of Cyprus his deepest sorrow for the tragic event.
Referring to 2004, he said that it has been an important year for Cyprus, noting the two historic landmarks, Cyprus’ accession to the European Union and the referendum for the Annan plan for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem.
He noted that the accession to the EU was realized thanks to the efforts made by all the governments of the Republic, the Parliament and the sacrifices of the Cyprus people and referring to the referendum he reiterated that on April 24, the Greek Cypriots did not vote against the reunification of Cyprus, but against the specific plan.
Addressing the Turkish Cypriots, Cyprus President extended a message of friendship and called upon them to acknowledge the Greek Cypriot concerns about the perpetuation of division and to understand that the common and long-term interest of all is best served through a real reunification of Cyprus.
President Papadopoulos underlined that the Greek Cypriot side works ''systematically and quietly to create the correct prerequisites that will provide the guarantees for substantial and constructive negotiations that will lead to an agreed solution to the Cyprus problem in the new conditions created by our accession to the European Union''.
''Arbitration and tight deadlines that shift pressure to our side were proven ineffective for an equal negotiation, able to lead to an agreed, viable solution'', he noted.
''I know and share our people’s concern about the further course of our national problem. A lot is being said about possible new initiatives and new efforts to promote a solution to the Cyprus problem. However, our first and foremost concern and priority remains the promotion of an acceptable solution to the Cyprus problem'', President Papadopoulos underlined.
He also expressed conviction that his wish for the New Year is same as the wish and expectation of all Cypriots, that an end may be put to the invasion and occupation and that Cyprus may be vindicated.
''We wish for deliverance and vindication through a functional and viable solution of a bizonal and bicommunal federation, in which all the lawful inhabitants of Cyprus may be able as equal citizens – without any discrimination- to build in conditions of security a common homeland, united, prosperous and peaceful'', Cyprus President said.
He added, ''I believe in the final vindication of our common struggle. Better days will dawn for our homeland and for all of our people. I call upon all of you to join forces and unite. Only united can we hope and be certain about a happier future for our country''.
Referring to the tragic events in Asia, he said ''it is natural on this occasion to turn our thoughts to the tragic and catastrophic natural phenomenon that wreaked havoc in South Eastern Asia and brought mourning and desperation''.
''On behalf of the Cyprus people, I express our profound grief and our sympathy to the governments and the peoples of the affected countries for this great tragedy. I wish to call upon you to assist in any way you can the relief effort, displaying once again the virtues of humanism and solidarity that characterize our people.
Referring to the year 2004 Cyprus President said it was a very important year for Cyprus with two historic landmarks.
''On May 1st the Republic of Cyprus became a member of the European Union, fulfilling in this way our dream, thanks to the efforts made by all the governments of the Republic, the Parliament and mainly thanks to the sacrifices of the Cyprus people. On April 24, the people of Cyprus were called upon to decide on their future through a referendum'', he said.
President Papadopoulos reiterated that the verdict of the Greek Cypriots regarding the Annan plan should be respected by all, ''not only by word but also by deeds that will guide and cement the unity of the people and their leaders''.
He added that on April 24 the people did not reject a solution to the Cyprus problem, did not vote against the reunification of Cyprus, but they rejected this specific Plan, judging that it would not lead to the reunification of their country or to a workable solution.
In his address to the Turkish Cypriots Cyprus President extended a message of friendship and wishes for a common course towards the common future of our common country.
''I call upon them to acknowledge the Greek Cypriot concerns about the perpetuation of division and to understand that the common and long-term interest of all of us is best served through a real reunification of our country'', he added.
In his message for the New Year President Papadopoulos addressed his special wishes to the refugees, the enclaved people and the relatives of missing persons as well as to the national guardsmen.
''Also I would like to express my particular appreciation to all those who are away from their homes, manning essential services and serving the public at large”, he said.
''From the bottom of my heart, I wish all of you a Happy New Year. I wish that the New Year will be full of joy, prosperity and progress for all the lawful inhabitants of Cyprus, Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Maronites, Armenians and Latins'', the President concluded.