Greek and Turkish Cypriot youths faced common problems, President Nicos Anastasiades said on Tuesday, urging them to lead the effort for the creation of a climate of reconciliation and understanding.
In a speech during a seminar organised by the Youth Organisation of Cyprus, Anastasiades said the problems Greek and Turkish Cypriot youths faced “are common, unemployment is common, the problems of your future in particular are equally painful, if no way out is found through a viable and functional solution with full respect for human rights.”
Anastasiades said Cypriot youth were saddled with the consequences of the mistakes made by the older generation.
“Unfortunately, while we had the potential to turn our country into a small paradise of prosperity, peace, and stability, we found ourselves facing the prospect of not only delivering our children a divided and unsecure country to our children, but also a country in decline,” Anastasiades said.
“A country without prospects and future for our youth,” he added.
Anastasiades pledged to do everything possible to reunify Cyprus and put the economy back on safe footing.
But he urged youths to become the vanguard of the effort to create a suitable climate for reconciliation and understanding.
“I know that most of you who studied abroad … had no problem of interacting with Turkish Cypriots,” the president said.
He wondered how overseas Greek and Turkish Cypriots, young and old, could co-operate, but could not do so in Cyprus.
“Why can we coexist and co-operate in a foreign country but not our own? It is high time for suspicion to give its place to mutual understanding and trust.”