Cyprus remains committed to the efforts for a peaceful solution, the withdrawal of Turkish troops and the implementation of UN principles, deputy government spokeswoman Klelia Vassiliou said on Tuesday on the occasion of the anniversary of the second phase of the Turkish invasion.
On August 14, 1974 the Turkish military launched its second offensive, taking Famagusta on the east and Morphou on the west.
“On a day like this our thoughts are on occupied Famagusta, Mesaoria, Karpasia and Morphou,” Vassiliou said.
She said that 44 years ago, in violation of the ceasefire that was agreed, as well as in violation of all principles of international law and order, Turkey proceeded to the second phase of the offensive against Cyprus, ultimately occupying 37 per cent of the island and 70 per cent of the economy.
Vassiliou said that since then, the Turkish army, despite the relevant UN resolutions and decisions, forced a third of the Greek Cypriot population to abandon their homes and properties, turning them into refugees in their own homeland.
“We remain committed to a peaceful solution of the Cyprus problem with the withdrawal of the occupying army and the implementation of the UN guidelines for a solution, as well as to the principles and values of the EU, of which our country is a member state,” she said.
Vassiliou reiterated the Greek Cypriot side’s position that Cyprus negotiations should resume from the point they were halted last year in Crans-Montana.
“We are looking forward to a peaceful future of coexistence and shared prosperity with our Turkish Cypriot compatriots,” she added.
Through negotiations, Cyprus seeks a viable and lasting agreement that will make it a normalised, independent state “without an occupation army or any control by any other state”, the spokeswoman added.