President Christofias: Division of Cyprus is a destructive option for us
Nicosia, Aug 14 – The division of Cyprus constitutes a destructive option, and so we must terminate it as soon as possible, the President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias has said, adding that “this is why our policy is based on a comprehensive strategy and tactic.''
In a speech read aloud by Justice and Public Order Minister Loucas Louca during a memorial service for Andreas Nicolaou, who was killed during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, President Christofias said that the goal of this strategy is to achieve through the development of concrete initiatives the joint action of various factors that can play a role in solving the Cyprus problem.
Referring to the direct talks held between him and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, with a view to solve the problem of Cyprus, President Christofias said that there have been convergences and steps towards progress at the talks, despite difficulties, adding however that there are also significant divergences on important issues.
“Despite the fact that we expected more progress than this achieved so far, we are not disappointed and we remain reservedly optimistic,” he said, adding that “we will continue to work with the same sincerity, always demonstrating through the proposals we are submitting our political will for a just settlement under the circumstances and having always in mind the well-perceived interests of all the people of Cyprus.''
President Christofias expressed hope that despite the fact that the negotiations are difficult and the road towards the settlement is full of obstacles, Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leadership will show the necessary good will and cooperation to reach a settlement.
He said that this is why the international community and especially the EU must exert pressure on Turkey to change its stance and cooperate towards reaching a settlement, in light of its EU accession course and its European aspirations.
President Christofias reiterated that “we remain committed to the agreed base and the principles for a Cyprus settlement. We pursue a settlement providing for a bizonal, bicommunal federation because it is the only realistic approach to end the occupation and division and the tragic impacts of the double crime of 1974,” he added.
He said that in the framework of this compromise the equality of the two communities would be implemented as provided by the relevant UN resolutions. President Christofias noted that the settlement must end the Turkish occupation, the illegal settling and foreign dependencies. It must also ensure the independence and the territorial integrity of the United Federation of the Republic of Cyprus, the human rights and the fundamental freedoms of all Cypriots, Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Maronites, Armenians and Latins.
The settlement must truly reunite the country, its people, its institutions and the economy on the basis of the principles of international law, the Security Council’s relevant resolutions and the principles on which the EU is founded, he stressed.
President Christofias noted that “our goal is to achieve a settlement that will be functional and viable so that it can be durable and ensure conditions of peace and prosperity.”
“The United Federal Republic of Cyprus does not need guarantees and guarantors since its people, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, will be able to feel and really be secure,” he added.