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PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE ON THE 28TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE TURKISH INVASION
2002-07-19 12:37:43

Broadcasted message by the President of the Republic Mr Glafcos Clerides for the anniversaries of the coup and the Turkish invasion
"Twenty-eight years have passed since the tragic summer of 1974. The people of Cyprus, both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, are still suffering from the dreadful consequences of the criminal coup and the illegal invasion of Attila. Those events constitute one of the darkest periods of the history of Cyprus.

The Greeks of Cyprus have learnt an important lesson from the coup: That there has to be absolute respect of the democratic institutions and constant dialogue among all of the political powers, with tolerance of the opposite view, with mutual understanding and with intention for mutual understanding and acquiescence, where possible. Passions, hatreds and generally extreme behaviour must not have a place in our political life.

At the same moment, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots should learn another common lesson from the invasion: The fact that both communities have committed serious mistakes. For, instead of cooperating honestly and hard in order to consolidate and develop the Republic of Cyprus, building a common, bright future for the benefit of all the residents of Cyprus, we remained attached to mentalities, which damaged the Republic and resulted to exactly the opposite.

This is the reason why we should find a right solution, which will heal the wounds of the past, put aside the hatred, suspicion and the sense of insecurity that exists in both communities, will dissipate the concerns and the fears, and consolidate a feeling of confidence, mutual understanding and cooperation for the benefit of all the citizens of this suffering land.

We should create, all of us together, a new real peace potential, stability and security, on the basis of the international law, in order to be able to enjoy the goods of peaceful coexistence and cooperation in the framework of a united Europe.

During these twenty-eight years that have gone by since the Turkish invasion, the Governments of the Republic of Cyprus have shown good will and have accepted even the most painful compomises in an effort to support the various initiatives of the UN Secretary-General for reaching a solution.

Unfortunately, however, the leadership of the Turkish side has always been intransigent, as the international community has ascertained from time to time. Our side has always dealt with the negotiations for the Cyprus problem constructively and will continue to do so. We are seeking a solution, which will be just, viable and comprehensive and which will secure the human rights for every citizen. A solution, which will secure the future of the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots in the land of their ancestors.

The forthcoming accession of Cyprus to the European family will be our greatest achievement after the declaration of the Cyprus Republic. We have repeatedly in the past called upon the Turkish Cypriots to join their forces with ours in the accession negotiations. Unfortunately we have had no response. In the case of accession before finding a solution we shall treat our Turkish Cypriot compatriots as citizens of the Cyprus Republic in the fields where it will be practically possible for us to apply the acquis communautaire as far as they are concerned.

The leadership of the Turkish side in Ankara and in the occupied areas is continuing to use various threats in an effort to stop Cyprus? accession course towards the European Union. I would like to point out that we act preventively in all fields while in parallel we are prepared to face any eventuality. I believe that any possible attempt by Turkey to implement its threats will both harm itself and prevent its accession to the EU.

Until we find a solution, the Government of the Cyprus Republic will continue its policy to strengthen the defence of the free areas within the framework of the Joint Defence Doctrine between Cyprus and Greece.

On this occasion, I would like again to express the Greek Cypriots? thanks and gratitude for the invaluable assistance offered to us by the Greek Government, the whole of the political leadership of Greece and the brotherly Greek people in our struggle and especially in the diplomatic efforts for our accession to the EU and in the sector of defence.

I also express our thanks and gratitude to all Greeks of the diaspora and other foreign Governments and personalities for their solidarity and active support.

In our struggle we also give emphasis on the humanitarian issues of the enclaved and the missing. The relatives of the missing are witnesses of our hard endeavours we are making for the ascertainment of the fate of their loved ones.

Concluding my message, I would like once again to assure all those who suffer from the consequences of the coup, the invasion and occupation that the Government will continue to stand by their side and struggle for their deliverance from their suffering."

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