President Nicos Anastasiades said on Sunday Morphou would have to come under the Greek Cypriot constituent state in a Cyprus solution.
Anastasiades was the main speaker at the 36th annual anti-occupation demonstration by Morphou residents held at the cultural centre in Astromeritis in the Nicosia district.
“My presence here testifies to my determination that what is rightly viewed as part of an acceptable agreed solution… that among the areas that should be under the Greek Cypriot constituent state, Morphou should be included,” he said.
“To our Turkish Cypriot compatriots we give assurances that any territorial adjustments will not ignore the need for satisfactory treatment of any problems they will face. It is natural when territorial adjustments are made, there is a need to move some people. It should therefore be taken care of that adequate, satisfactory housing is provided for those who will have to leave the homes of Greek Cypriots.”
The Morphou event was attended by local officials, along with a Greek and a British MP. It includes a cultural programme and a memorial service, and a resolution was handed to the UN at the Astromeritis crossing point.
In his speech Anastasiades repeated that a solution must be consistent with international law, European principles and values. The fact that Turkey considered Cyprus a defunct state even though it was a member of the EU was all the more reason to invoke the European acquis in a solution, he said.
“The solution should cancel the occupation, reverse the division and allow Cypriot citizens to live together and co-create a common prosperous country under arrangements that allow for equality before the law,” he said.
Anastasiades said he would not sweep the difficulties and differences under the carpet. “But neither will they let us discourage us because I trust that in the end a judicious approach will prevail,” he added.
Anastasiades said the leaders had agreed and had secured the right of every Cypriot citizen to choose for himself or herself the place they would reside and work with equal rights before the law.
Cyprus’ participation in the European Union and the experience gained therein created the conditions and provided safeguards for the implementation of “a truly united country”.
He said he welcomed Ankara’s positive rhetoric recently but added that this was not enough if it was not accompanied by practical positive attitudes at the table.
“I want to stress that we are ready, with open minds, to discuss the creation of an internal security system that respects the concerns of all,” said Anastasiades.
“We, at the same time hold the belief that a modern European state that implements and applies principles and values, and respects human rights, does not need, and cannot justify a claim for any form of presence of the occupying army, guarantees or invasive third-country rights.”
He said he wanted to differentiate between real concerns and “not fictitious and exaggerated reports” aimed at finding arguments for the continuation of an anachronistic system of guarantees that would favour one community at the expense of the other.
The president said the security and guarantees chapter would be crucial and would determine the success or failure “of an otherwise promising effort so far”.
“Our position is and remains that only through mutual respect can we build a modern state and we want to build a common home which will create the conditions for peaceful coexistence, co-creation, and prospects for the future,” Anastasiades said.
But he said “not just any solution” would do, because a “bad solution” would have the same devastating effects as a non-solution. He would also take into account the geostrategic realities in the region and what might be “behind the mind of some of the neighbours, and of course I mean Turkey,” he added.
“Our duty is to the homeland, to our children… this is important,” said Anastasiades referring to domestic divisions on the negotiations. “Let us unite now to realise that the transformation of the unitary state is the only feasible option.”
“Anyone who trumpets, or promises to restore the prior or pre-1974 situation is creating false pictures, false promises that will only serve to preserve the occupation.”