President addresses the people on anniversary of Cyprus' independence
Nicosia, Sep 30 – The President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias said that the evaluation of Turkey's EU accession course in December provides Turkey with the opportunity to prove that it really wishes a solution to the Cyprus problem, and warned that if Turkey continues to provoke the EU, by refusing to meet its obligations, it will not be able to continue its accession course unobstructed.
He added that Cyprus' support of Turkey's EU course was a strategic decision, in order to create the dynamics for a solution, noting that a solution should be based on principles and be the product of negotiations and an agreement between the two communities.
In his message to the people on the anniversary of the independence of Cyprus on October 1, President Christofias referred to the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus, which is ''a common success of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots,'' and added that ''we owe honor and gratitude to those who fought to liberate our homeland, to defend the independence, democracy and territorial integrity of our homeland all these years.''
President Christofias referred to the ''Cyanean Rocks, adventures and tragedies'' of the newly established Republic of Cyprus, the high level of growth and progress achieved by the people of Cyprus, and the events of 1974.
He also referred to the efforts that led to the resumption of the dialogue for a Cyprus settlement, noting that the agreed basis for a solution is ''a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality, as defined in relevant UN resolutions, for a single state with a single sovereignty, a single citizenship and a single international personality.''
''We are pursuing a solution that will safeguard the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Cypriots. It is our view that Cyprus, an EU member state, does not need guarantees and guardians with intervention rights,'' he added.
President Christofias said that the first round of negotiations ''was concluded with some relative progress which, however, is not enough.''
''Nevertheless, we continue the negotiations with the same determination. We knew from the beginning that the path of the negotiations would be neither easy nor strewn with rose petals. Though the path of the negotiations is difficult and uphill, we are seeking a solution and reunification, permanent peace and security, the restoration and safeguarding of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Cypriots, and so it is a path we must take,'' he pointed out.
He said that ''our effort is to achieve a solution the soonest possible, because the passing of time creates more problems,'' adding that ''we will not accept a solution that is not based on principles, and we will not accept a solution that is not the product of negotiations and an agreement between the two communities.''
President Christofias said that, ''with the policy we are implementing, we managed to convince the international community that the process for a settlement belongs to the Cypriots, that there will neither be arbitration nor deadlines.''
''Despite the problems in the negotiations, I continue to state that I remain optimistic. With the continuation of the comprehensive strategy that we are following, with calmness and insistence on the fundamental principles of the solution, which we have collectively discussed at the National Council, we can reach the long-awaited solution,'' he said.
He pointed out that ''in order for this to happen, it is a necessary prerequisite for Turkey to change its stance,'' adding that Turkey ''holds the key to the solution and must use it.''
''The time has come for Turkey to prove that it truly hopes for a solution. The evaluation of its EU accession course in December provides Turkey with this opportunity. By meeting the obligations it has undertaken towards the EU and its member states, and by constructively contributing to the efforts for a solution, Turkey will above all help itself. We warn Turkey that if it continues to provoke the EU, by refusing to meet its obligations, it will not be able to continue its accession course unobstructed,'' he said. President Christofias noted that Cyprus' support to Turkey's EU course was a strategic decision, in order to create the dynamics for a solution.
President Christofias noted that the recent meeting of the National Council, the top advisory body to the President of the Republic, on the handling of the Cyprus problem, and the issuing of a joint statement with the contribution of all members of the body, was ''an important step to create unity domestically.''
In regards to other challenges faced by Cyprus, President Christofias said the vision of his government was to build a more just society, which will be able to meet the reasonable needs of the citizens.
He also referred to the global financial crisis, which ''unavoidably adversely affects the economy of Cyprus as well,'' but expressed optimism that the problems would be overcome.
''I assure the citizens that the commitments contained in the program of my government will be implemented. The financial crisis may delay the implementation of some of them, which is a natural development under the circumstances, but all promises will be kept,'' he said.
President Christofias also sent a message of confidence and optimism to all, as well as a special message of friendship and cooperation to the Turkish Cypriots.