President Nicos Anastasiades said on Sunday he is trying, through his international contacts, to influence Ankara to make it realise that a solution will benefit everyone and that Cypriots should be allowed to decide their own future.
Addressing a memorial in Episkopio village in Limassol, Anastasiades referred to the promise he had made five years ago when he assumed office that, as regards the Cyprus problem, he would act within the boundaries of national dignity, to make an effort with courage and determination “in order to reach a solution which will meet the concerns of Turkish Cypriots without ignoring the rightful demands of Greek Cypriots.”
At the same time, he added, he felt that “in order to operate as a truly European state, we should be truly independent, absolutely independent, absolutely sovereign, so that Cypriots could decide about Cyprus, not Turkey via the Turkish Cypriots.”
“I kept my promise. And I am truly sorry that (Turkey’s) intransigence did not lead to the longed-for reunification in this difficult, determined effort we made,” he said.
Anastasiades said that he has conveyed the message to everyone in the international and European community that he is ready to return to the negotiating table on the internal aspects of the Cyprus problem but that, for a new Conference on Cyprus to be reconvened, sufficient preparation must take place so that Ankara’s positions on matters of security can be crystal clear.
At the same time he assured that he is making an effort, through the UN Security Council permanent members, so that Ankara is influenced in such a way that it realises not only that a solution of the Cyprus problem would be to the benefit of the people of Cyprus, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, and Ankara itself.
Ankara, he said, should stop considering that they can create a protectorate within Cyprus by imposing their position on the Turkish Cypriots.
“I would like to hope that a change of approach will take place, because we do not wish for new heroes, rather we want to see our compatriots, young people, working, and prospering for the benefit of our country.”
This, Anastasiades should take place in conditions of peace, stability and in particular in a state which will be completely in line with the EU acquis communautaire.