Cyprus President hopes New Year will mark the country’s reunification
Nicosia, Jan 1 - Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos expressed hope that the New Year will mark the reunification of Cyprus, its people and the country, signaling “the beginning of a new course and the dawn of a better future for our homeland and all our citizens without any exception."
In a message on the occasion of the New Year, President Papadopoulos also reiterated his commitment to the July 8 agreement, stressing that the dialogue for a solution is the responsibility of the two communities in Cyprus. He pointed out, however, that the key to the solution lies in Ankara, which “dictates unacceptable terms and unreasonable demands.”
''No dialogue can yield substantial results if Ankara is not willing to allow its fruition,'' the President said before adding: “2007 marks 33 years since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus and the occupation of the island’s northern third, 33 years of tragedy, ordeals and agony.”
“Thirty three years is a very long time", he said before stressing: "If, in all these years, it has not been possible to reach a solution, a solution cannot be considered just as an unfulfilled dream or something unattainable.”
President Papadopoulos then noted that, surely, it cannot be expected to be given as a gift or imposed by foreigners.
''Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots together can reach the solution. We ourselves, undistracted by outside interventions, we can bring down the walls of separation and consolidate peace, prosperity and progress in our common homeland, which is so big as to have room for all of us, but too small to be divided,'' Mr. Papadopoulos stressed, before adding that ''the dialogue for a solution is the responsibility of the two communities in Cyprus.''
He pointed out, however, that ''the key to the solution lies in Ankara,'' because ''no dialogue can bring substantial results, if Ankara is not willing to allow its fruition.'' ''No effort will succeed if Ankara continues to dictate unacceptable terms and unreasonable demands'', he noted, adding that ''at this specific moment, the promotion of the full implementation of the July 8 Agreement depends on Ankara.''
According to the President, ''any attempts for political upgrading of the pseudo-state and the monotonous slogans for the lifting of the so-called isolation of the Turkish Cypriots, are not conducive to a solution of the Cyprus problem.'' ''A solution to the Cyprus problem cannot be imposed by force, or through blackmailing and oppressive dilemmas,'' he said, underlying that ''it is only through a sincere dialogue that a mutually acceptable functional and viable solution may be found. Everybody should encourage and support such a dialogue.''
Mr. Papadopoulos also pointed out that ''if some people choose to encourage and support a divisive entity, in the belief that by promoting its political upgrading, they prescribe the final solution of the Cyprus problem, I reassure them that they are making a big mistake, which is worse than injustice.'' Reiterating his ''sincere, firm and unmovable positions” he added that “we remain committed to the solution of a bizonal, bicommunal federation”, noting that we “seek this solution through a peaceful dialogue, within the framework and under the auspices of the United Nations and in conformity with the fundamental principles of the European Union – which should have a say and play a more active role in the effort to find a solution.''
''All our efforts and our policy are oriented to this goal. We are the ones who first and foremost desire a solution, as it we who suffer the negative consequences from the absence of a solution,'' Mr. Papadopoulos also said, adding that ''the only substantial difference with those who pretend to desire a solution more than us, is that we want a proper, functional and viable solution, leading to a real reunification of our country, its land, its society, its economy and the institutions and not just any arrangement that in the surface will settle the Cyprus problem but in essence will reproduce it, victimising once again the people of Cyprus as a whole.''
Addressing the island’s Turkish Cypriots, President Papadopoulos conveyed ''a message of sincere friendship,'' noting that ''we understand their difficulties, their concerns and their worries.''
He also called on Turkish Cypriots to understand the difficulties, concerns and worries facing the Greek Cypriots, noting that ''only through common understanding, can we find the road to cooperation and we can build together of a common future, based on our common prosperity and progress. Only in a reunited and peaceful Cyprus can we look forward to a better tomorrow for everybody''.
''It is for this better future that we strive and struggle, with belief and optimism, with good sense and vision,'' he concluded.