Memorials were held throughout the government controlled areas to mark the 43rd anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus and commemorate those who fell during the invasion, with ministers calling on Turkey to withdraw its occupation troops and for the reunification of Cyprus.
Pressure should be exerted on Ankara while Cyprus, exploiting its membership to the EU and its good relations with countries should put forward the interests of the Republic of Cyprus with those of the powerful countries, said House President Demetris Syllouris.
He said that the Cyprus problem is and remains an issue of illegal invasion and occupation and its resolution is the greatest challenge that the Republic of Cyprus has faced.
In a speech in Paphos to commemorate those who fell during the 1974 Turkish invasion, Syllouris said that the fight to secure all human rights and freedoms of the people of Cyprus and for the withdrawal of Turkish troops and settlers continues.
In his speech also in Paphos, Transport Minister Marios Demetriades said the failure to find a solution at the latest round of talks at Crans Montana is not the end of the efforts to reunite Cyprus.
He said that President Nicos Anastasiades made great efforts to achieve a solution but these failed due to the Turkish intransigence and its insistence on maintaining anachronistic system of guarantees and intervention rights on the island.
“We should keep the hope alive as well as the vision to create a free Cyprus, without foreign troops or dividing walls and build a better future for our homeland,” Demetriades said.
The director of the Cabinet, Theodosis Tsiolas, speaking at a memorial service in Meneou village in Larnaca, said that it is clear that a prerequisite in any effort to resolve the Cyprus issue should be the complete change of Turkish positions on issues of security and guarantees.
Our duty, he added, is to hand over to the future generations a reunited Cyprus that is free of occupation armies, barbed wire and safe for its lawful inhabitants.
Justice and Public Order Minister Ionas Nicolaou said that the Greek Cypriot side does not have the luxury to abandon efforts for a solution.
Addressing a memorial service in Nicosia, he said: “It is our obligation to draw on the lessons of our past and the mistakes of the past. Moreover, history must be nothing but the voice of the dead that teach the living”.
“United, we continue efforts to curb the Turkish intransigence and exploit the benefits of our coordination with Athens,” Nicolaou said.
The Republic of Cyprus has been divided by Turkish troops since 1974. The latest round of the UN-backed Cyprus talks in Crans Montana, Switzerland, ended inconclusively. The peace talks under the auspices of the UN aim at reuniting the island under a federal roof.