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Message by President Papadopoulos on the occasion of the New Year 2008
2008-01-02 08:51:47

In his new year message, the President of the Republic, Mr. Tassos Papadopoulos, after expressing his best wishes to the refugees, the enclaved people, the relatives of missing persons, the young people serving in the National Guard and the entire people of Cyprus, said:

"We look forward, with faith and optimism, to ensuring peace and safety in our divided country through a truly viable and functional solution to our national problem that will reunite our people and our land.

A functional and viable solution cannot each time and for 33 years in a row be a mere wish. We hope that in the year 2008 such a solution will become a reality and a permanent situation for the benefit of the entire people of Cyprus, both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. To safeguard this, we will continue to work hard, with a sense of responsibility rather than with improvisations and with consistency rather than with vacillation. We shall try to achieve it with prudence rather than brinkmanship and in a constructive spirit, rather than through vague words and experimentations.

On our side the main and essential question is not how to prove Turkish intransigence and Turkey‘s negative stance on the Cyprus problem. This intransigence and negative stance has been repeated and escalated for 33 years now. Turkey’s goals on Cyprus are not a mere suspicion, they are a manifest policy.

Beyond any conclusions, what is most essential for us is to render Turkey’s goals for the division of Cyprus unattainable and break her intransigence so that in 2008 the road opens up for a mutually acceptable solution to the Cyprus problem. To open up this road, we must urgently start and productively engage in substantial negotiations on fundamental aspects of the Cyprus problem that may bring the commonly accepted framework for a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem. The Gambari agreement provides both the principles as well as the correct procedure for a proper preparation, so that the negotiations may be substantial and productive, leading to a speedy solution to the Cyprus problem. We have both the strategy as well as the alternative proposals for properly solving the fundamental aspects of the Cyprus problem. This solution cannot be the outcome of abstract initiatives or ceremonial and social meetings that may create fleeting impressions but cannot produce substantial results.

Our exclusive aim was and still is to find a compromise solution, which however will be workable and viable. Accepting the demands of the other side simply ' to close at long last' the Cyprus problem does not constitute a proper and advisable prospect. Our firm position was and still is a solution based on a bizonal and bicommunal federation with the right content of each term, but surely not a settlement in which federation will simply be a pseudonym of division.

In the new year we will renew and intensify our efforts in order to fully materialize the 8 July Agreement. The entire international community insists on promoting the implementation of this Agreement. We also persist precisely on fulfilling this goal.

We will not abandon and render useless an important tool for making progress, which we have achieved, simply because the Turkish side does not wish to honor its signature.

We will not limit ourselves to the demand that the Turkish side should comply with the provisions of this Agreement. At the right time and with the appropriate preparation we shall proceed to taking initiatives, through specific and reasonable suggestions, that will facilitate the effective promotion of the agreed procedure.

We are not going to stop our efforts just because the Turkish side refuses to fulfill the commitments she undertook. We will move to every direction with alternative and very reasonable proposals, certainly not aiming at creating impressions but at contributing practically to opening up the road that will lead us to a solution through substantive and fruitful negotiations.

Our firm position has always been that a solution to the Cyprus problem can be achieved only through an honest and productive dialogue. With attempts for the political upgrading of the pseudo-state and with voices for the lifting of the so-called isolation of the Turkish Cypriots, we can neither make progress in the dialogue nor facilitate a solution. It is also certain that neither a correct dialogue nor a correct solution can be achieved by making reductions from our correct positions and by retreating from our just demands.

The fact that due to the unacceptable Turkish stand and attitude an early and correct solution to the Cyprus problem is blocked does not mean that we are obliged to "close" the Cyprus problem with a distorted compromise just for the sake of time. Our effort does not aim at winning time but losing the substance. Our effort aims at safeguarding the survival of the Republic of Cyprus and the physical and national survival of Greek Cypriots in our country. If the passage of time consolidates the fait accompli of the invasion and occupation, a bad solution consolidates and legalizes the prospect for destruction.

Our target has always been to find a functional and viable solution as soon as possible. If a solution is to be found soon, this depends on the Turkish side. What depends on our side is to continue making efforts to break the deadlock and reach a correct solution, based on the United Nations principles and the values of the European Union".

Speaking on the adoption by Cyprus of the euro as the official currency, President Papadopoulos said:

“In a few hours we shall witness the fulfillment of our great strategic target of acceding to the euro-zone through the introduction of euro as the national currency of the Republic of Cyprus. Apart from the obvious economic benefits that the introduction of the euro will bring to the citizens and the economy of our country, there are also political benefits. The foundation is laid for a unified economy with a common currency. Tiny Cyprus enters into the 'heart' of Europe with a strengthened role and say."

In his message, President Papadopoulos underlined that the most basic prerequisite for succeeding in our effort and struggle is the political unity of our people and our commitment to reach a solution that will guarantee the best future of a European Cyprus.

Concluding, the President of the Republic sent out the following message to our Turkish Cypriot compatriots:

"On this happy occasion, I wish to reassure them for our feelings of sincere friendship and I repeat that through mutual understanding and cooperation we can and must bring down the walls of this artificial division and build a happy future for all in a reunited homeland where Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Armenians, Maronites and Latins will live free and secure, enjoying the fruits of peace, prosperity and progress."

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