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Archbishop: rules out ‘solution at any cost’

Archbishop Chrysostomos

ARCHBISHOP Chrysostomos said on Tuesday that the Greek Cypriot side should not seek the resumption of the talks for the settlement of the Cyprus problem “at any cost”.

In his Christmas message, the Archbishop said the impression that carrying out talks just for the sake of it, without any prospects for success as protection from “worse situations,” was a mistaken one.

“We have been experiencing in Cyprus for 45 years the suffering from the occupation of half our country and escalating insecurity, which derives from Turkey’s insatiable aspirations of conquering all of Cyprus,” Chrysostomos said.

Lately, he said, there has been pressure on the Greek Cypriot side from inside and abroad “for new concessions in order for the occupying power to agree to the relaunch of the talks.”

“Weren’t we engaged in talks when the second phase of the invasion began? Or when they were declaring the pseudo-state? Did the talks ever stop violations of our airspace or of our exclusive economic zone?” he asked.  The talks, he said, were not a cure for all ills, “nor should the resumption of the talks be sought at any  cost.”

The disruption of the talks was solely due to Turkey, he said, and it ought to lead the Greek Cypriot side to assess its course so far and take the “right decisions for the future by redefining the problem in its proper dimensions, as one of invasion and occupation.”

The Church Primate said that the Greek Cypriot side has made many concessions but there has been no response by the other side.

“Not even if we hand over our undersea wealth will we achieve anything,” he said.

The archbishop said that any solution that is a result of violence and injustice cannot be a lasting one, and called for a change of course.

He said that straying from a bizonal, bicommunal type solution, which was a “racist and separatist” one, “should not lead us to accept a worse solution, a concealed confederation.”

The Greek Cypriot side, he said, ought to dare do what it failed to do in 1983 with the declaration of the breakaway regime in the north and in 2004 after the UN referendum (Annan plan) for the reunification of the island; “the denunciation of all our unilateral concessions and commitments.”

He also said that “mortal danger” lurked behind a two-state solution but also a confederation.  As regards the former, he said: “Who will prevent the influx of millions of Turks in the Turkish Cypriot ‘state’? And then who will stop them, after they are made European citizens, from passing to the Greek Cypriot state, and to take us over in this way?”.

A confederation too, he said, would allow Turkey to also control the Greek Cypriot constituent state.

He said that the answer was the establishment of a “normal state with a European, democratic character, whose independence does not rely on third parties and its functioning and its future does not depend on other countries.”

“If we want to restore the unity of the country, this will not be achieved by separation arrangements, with the positive votes of the other community, away from the will of the majority, from rotating presidencies and from others.”

Such things, he said, perpetuate the separation and create conflicts.

“That is why we need to reinforce all the constituent elements of an agreement, and we must let go of those that are divisive.”

“Despite what we have accepted so far, the [new] state cannot work. Let us not fool ourselves,” he said.

He also called for “national awakening” which would lead to self-knowledge and national unity.

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