President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades pledged to continue working tirelessly to achieve a viable and comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem.
He also said he remains optimistic that a settlement in 2016 is still possible if both sides engage with seriousness in the peace process.
The President made the remarks on Tuesday at a reception at the US Embassy on the occasion of the 240th Anniversary of the Independence of the United States of America.
Noting it has been 240 years since Thomas Jefferson, with other founding fathers of America, adopted the Declaration of Independence, an historic statement that formed a new nation, President Anastasiades said the spirit of the Declaration of Independence helped to inspire countless movements for independence, self-determination, and revolution around the globe after 1776.
He said “we celebrate and honor the founding of a great country; a leading power in world affairs and global economy and a country with impressive accomplishments in the fields of scientific research and technological innovation. We also pay tribute to a country that throughout its history has received millions of migrants from around the world that helped to transform the 13 small colonies into a great and growing nation of more than 300 million people”.
As a melting pot of cultures, the United States is also home to many Cypriot Americans who have also contributed to the country’s development, President Anastasiades said, adding the presence in the United States of a substantial Cypriot diaspora undoubtedly serves as an additional active link between the two countries and contributes to further enriching the multicultural character of the American mosaic.
He expressed the Government’s genuine satisfaction for the excellent bilateral relations that exist between Cyprus and the United States. “At the same time, I would like to express our desire to work towards diversifying and even further expanding our partnership to the benefit of our peoples and in pursuit of our shared values in the region and internationally”, the President remarked and cited high level bilateral visits that have played an important role in the evolution of the Cyprus-U.S relations. In particular, he referred to the landmark visits in Cyprus of US Vice-President Joe Biden in May 2014, followed by the visit of State Secretary John Kerry last December.
Most importantly though, he added, “these visits have reaffirmed the continuous genuine interest of the United States in our efforts to achieve a viable and comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus Problem, in full conformity with the values and principles of both the Charter of the United Nations and of the EU” and thanked the US Government for the long standing support to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus.
President Anastasiades underlined that he “will continue to work tirelessly in order to achieve a viable and comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem to reunite our country and its people and to create the most credible prospects for prosperity for Greek and Turkish Cypriots in a modern European country where all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all its legal citizens, irrespective of their ethnic origin, are fully protected”.
He said he remains “optimistic that a settlement in 2016 is still possible if both sides engage with seriousness, discussing and submitting constructive proposals on all pending issues, in a spirit of mutual respect”.
The President also referred to the Orlando massacre on Sunday and conveyed the Government and the people of Cyprus` “strong condemnation”, “sincere condolences and heartfelt sympathy to the families of the victims and of the injured persons”.