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Cyprus Cyprus Talks

Greek Cypriots ‘will never accept partition’

President Nicos Anastasiades unveiled a stone-carved Cyprus emblem at the entrance to the presidential palace ahead of the anniversary ceremony on Sunday night

By George Psyllides

CYPRUS’ future would be brighter and more hopeful if obstacles were overcome and dividing lines wiped out through a federal republic, President Nicos Anastasiades has said.

Speaking at an event held at the presidential palace on Sunday evening to mark the 40th anniversary of the 1974 coup and subsequent Turkish invasion, Anastasiades said no one was reconciled to the idea of partition nor “will we ever accept as fait accompli the state of affairs caused by the military invasion and colonisation”.

The common objective was a viable solution that would lead to the liberation and reunification of the country and the Cypriot people, he added.

“The future of the country and our children will be brighter and more hopeful if we succeed in overcoming the obstacles and make the elimination of dividing lines possible through a federal republic of Cyprus,” the president said.

He voiced concern over the fruitless passage of time, which he blamed on the Turkish intransigence.

However, he warned that the Greek Cypriot side would not agree to any arrangement that failed to secure the future of Greek Cypriots in their country, end the occupation, and colonisation, and ensure reunification.

“With its excessive demands and negative stance, the Turkish side makes the achievement of an agreement unfeasible,” the president said. “The Turkish side’s negative stance is the essence of the problem we have to deal with.”

Anastasiades stressed that the solution pursued by the Greek Cypriot side “does not eliminate the human rights of our Turkish Cypriot fellow countrymen, nor does it curtail their political freedoms,” but it seeks to have Greek Cypriot human and political rights respected.

The ceremony at the palace was the culmination of numerous events and memorial services held throughout the day to mark the anniversary.

In the north, there were celebrations, including a military parade attended by Turkish President Abdullah Gul, who called for a resolution of the Cyprus problem.

“There are very few conflicts lasting for 50 years in the world. Therefore it is time to resolve this conflict,” Turkish daily Sabah quoted him as saying.

Reports said Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan sent a letter to Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu promising support and praising the Turkish Cypriots’ dedication to democracy and the rule of law.

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