Cyprus President stresses security over Turkish “gimmicks”
Nicosia, Jan 11 - Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos has stressed that the security of the Cypriot people will not be jeopardized for the sake of creating impressions. He was referring to controversial efforts to open a crossing point at the end of one of Nicosia’s most commercial streets, Ledra street. He also stressed:
“We have no intention of sacrificing the security of the people for the sake of certain gimmicks, or for creating impressions in order to gain credit from foreigners and hear that we display good will.”
The removal of a few steps, which make up the bridge, is not exactly the whole issue when at the same time the vicinity, which is in the UN-controlled buffer zone, is now claimed by the Turkish military, he added.
He explained that the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community Mehmet Ali Talat, who had announced the demolition of the bridge apparently prior to securing the consent of the Turkish military, “simply obeyed the calls of the military as an obedient servant”.
“Mr. Talat has proceeded with the demolition of the bridge as a face-saving exercise,” he added.
Mr. Papadopoulos also recalled that it was the Cypriot government that had proposed the opening of eight separate crossings to and from the northern Turkish occupied part of the island.
“Every crack in the wall that divides Cyprus marks progress. When the number of crossings is numerous, then the dividing line collapses,” he said, pointing out that the Turkish side had rejected this proposal.
“Demolishing an illegally built bridge is not a grand gesture on the part of the occupation power for which we are asked to give something in exchange,” the President also stressed.
“The Greek Cypriot side is seeking in earnest a political settlement, we are ready for a solution but a real solution that will reunite the country and its people. We must not forget that he who has been sinned against cannot make any concessions,” he concluded.