Greek President visits Cyprus
The President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias arrived in Cyprus on July the 28th, to participate in events marking 30 years since the death of first President of Cyprus Archbishop Makarios III. According to President Papoulias his meeting with President Papadopoulos, was “friendly, cordial and patriotic”. The two Presidents departed from the Presidential Palace for the Nicosia Municipal Theatre to attend an oratorio to mark 30 years since Makarios’ death.
President Papoulias also met with House of Representatives President and General Secretary of AKEL Mr. Demetris Christofias and Democratic Rally MEP Mr. Ioannis Kasoulides, both candidates for the February 2008 presidential elections.
Speaking after the meeting with President Papoulias, Mr. Christofias said he had the opportunity to thank the Greek President for the stance based on principles he has maintained towards the Cyprus problem. He added that the fact that Mr. Papoulias is President of the Hellenic Republic is a vindication of his own struggles and those of the people of Greece for democracy and progress.
Mr. Kasoulides said they discussed the Cyprus problem and developments in Turkey, adding that it has always been useful to hear the views of the Greek President, who has great experience in matters of foreign policy. Replying to questions, Kasoulides said his policy, if elected, would be to ''corner Turkey,'' adding that Turkish diplomacy was not invincible.
Turkey cannot possibly hope to join the European Union as long as it continues to occupy part of Cyprus, an EU member itself, President Papoulias, has stressed, urging EU partners not to tolerate such behaviour.
He also stressed that Greece and Cyprus offer a helping hand to Turkey to progress on its way towards Europe but not on Ankara’s terms, on the terms laid down by the international community and the EU. “Turkey’s wish to join the Union and our membership provides an important juncture which we have to exploit to resolve the question of Cyprus on the basis of UN and EU principles, respecting the human rights of all Cypriots,” he said in his address at a commemorative service to mark 30 years since the death of Cyprus’ first president, the late Archbishop Makarios III, at the University of Cyprus, in Nicosia.
He said this was a one-way street and both Cyprus and Greece will go down this road. He paid tribute to the late Archbishop, saying he served his country faithfully, with tenacity and left his own legacy to his people: to struggle until the Turkish occupation troops withdraw from Cyprus.
President Papoulias added that “The just cause of the people of Cyprus has not been vindicated yet. Cyprus has taken great strides on the path the late President laid down, which have a painful gap, that of the continuing occupation of the island’s northern part by Turkey.”
In his address, Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos said that a lot is owed to Makarios, and paid tribute to his personality whose memory lingers on among the people. President Papadopoulos stressed that “If we all owe something to Makarios, if we all owe a lot to Cyprus, then this is to continue fighting for our country, to rally together and draw strength to continue until we are vindicated. If the flag bearer died 30 years ago, the flag he carried for a better future in Cyprus shall not be lowered nor will it be folded away.”
President Papadopoulos also said that his presence during the commemoration events was proof of his continuous support and solidarity to the people of Cyprus and an honour to all that Makarios represented.