President Anastasiades addressing the 69th session of the UN General Assembly
Cyprus and its citizens deserve much more than a divided country, President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades has said addressing the 69th session of the UN General Assembly, on Friday.
In his address President Anastasiades reiterated his sincere commitment to work vigorously and with resolve for a settlement and asked for a show of genuine will by Turkish Cypriots in the negotiations.
He also called on Turkey to contribute constructively to the efforts to reach a settlement, not only in theory and rhetoric, but through practical and substantial actions.
“Cyprus and its citizens deserve much more than a divided country”, he stressed, adding that “forty years is more than enough for all of us, and it is high-time for all those involved to realise that the artificial complacency related with the current status quo is to the benefit of no one”.
A solution, he pointed out, “would be to the benefit of all Cypriots, Turkey, our immediate region, and, evidently, the international community”.
“My ultimate vision is to relieve all Cypriots, especially the younger generations, the future of the country, from the anachronistic burden of having to live in a divided country in which they are forcibly prevented from enjoying the freedoms that is the birthright of every citizen in the world” he noted. A burden, he said, “that they are not to blame for and are entitled to see it redressed”.
President Anastasiades pledged that “I will not deviate from pursuing this vision, as this is the duty I have undertaken towards all Cypriots”. I will not shy away, he added, “from the historic responsibility to provide a stable, peaceful, prosperous and conciliatory future in my country”.
He referred to the negotiating process since the Joint Declaration of February 11, 2014 was signed, which set out the basic guidelines and principles for the framework of the agreed solution to be reached, as well as the methodology of the negotiating process.
He welcomed the recent appointment by the UN Secretary-General of his new Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide.
“We believe that his appointment, at a critical juncture in the negotiating process, demonstrates the UN determination to ensure that the process moves decisively forward”, he said.
However, President Anastasiades stressed, “it goes without saying that what is also needed is the demonstration of genuine will by our compatriots to negotiate in good faith and by Turkey to contribute constructively to the efforts to reach a settlement, not only in theory and rhetoric, but through practical and substantial actions”.
According to him “a first step towards the long-awaited demonstration of genuine political will would be the adoption of my package-proposal for bold Confidence Building Measures that would create a win-win situation for all parties concerned, helping build mutual understanding, confidence and good will, thereby serving as a catalyst to the ongoing negotiating process”.
Moreover, he said, “we do expect to receive the sincere co-operation by Turkey on the humanitarian issue of the missing persons, including through granting access to all areas as required and providing the necessary information that will help shed light on their fate and alleviate the pain of their relatives”.
The Cyprus President also referred to the fact that 2014 marks the 40th anniversary since the invasion and occupation of Cyprus by Turkey.
“What I would like to stress, once more, is my sincere commitment to work vigorously and with resolve, in order, through a constructive, in-depth and substantive dialogue, reach a settlement that will reunite Cyprus and its people; restore the fundamental freedoms and human rights of all its lawful citizens; relieve the island from the presence of occupying troops; ensure the peaceful co-existence and socio-economic collaboration between all of its citizens; guarantee the effectiveness and efficient functioning of Cyprus as an EU member-state”, he pointed out..
There is only one plan, he pointed out, “to reach a settlement of the Cyprus problem, on the basis of what has been agreed as a compromise: The evolution of the Republic of Cyprus into a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation with political equality, as set out in the relevant Security Council Resolutions and the High Level Agreements, with a single sovereignty, a single international legal personality and a single citizenship”.
President Anastasiades referred to the international problems the UN is called to address. He spoke in particular of the Middle Eastern problem.
“Specifically, as regards the Middle East Peace Process, the right of Israeli people to statehood should not be called into question, nor should the same right for the people of Palestine”, he said.
“We commend the very positive role of the Egyptian Government in mediating between the two sides”, he noted adding that “at the same time, we strongly urge all interested stakeholders to discourage the activities of terrorist groups that oppose the Middle East Peace Process”.
The Cyprus President also referred to the situation in the Ukraine. “We cannot remain indifferent to what is taking place in Ukraine and the repercussions as regards the relations between some of the most important and influential actors in the world arena, the United States, the Russian Federation and the European Union”, he said.
He further welcomed the agreement reached in Minsk on the 5th of September and called for it “to be honoured and fully implemented by all sides”.
Referring to Cyprus` role he recalled that Cyprus is “at the forefront of efforts to fight terrorism and human trafficking, the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and to provide humanitarian aid and facilities when deemed necessary”.
Only yesterday, he said, “Cyprus was instrumental to the rescue of around 350 Syrian refugees from a fishing boat stranded in the Mediterranean, thus averting a great humanitarian catastrophe”.
In parallel, he added, “the discovery of hydrocarbons in our neighbourhood has undoubtedly upgraded its strategic importance. Energy can serve as a catalyst for broader cooperation, thus, contributing to peace and stability, and as a means of strengthening regional and EU energy security and diversification which will boost the economies of the countries in the area”.
He expressed the government`s readiness “to contribute towards this cause and even mediate in bringing neighbouring hydrocarbon-producing and hydrocarbon-consuming countries together.