Cyprus cannot accept to be under Turkey’s guarantees, to be under Turkey’s influence, to be virtually controlled, President Nicos Anastasiades said on Sunday.
Speaking at a memorial service for Eoka fighter Michalakis Paridis, also said neither can the island accept for the solution sought to lead us to a new Bosnia Herzegovina or a new Lebanon, that is, a stillborn solution that would lead to the dissolution of the state, the partition of our homeland, “as it was and remains a goal of Turkey since 1950”.
“What we owe to the heroes is not what foreigners dictate or the diplomacy of double standards,” he added.
Anastasiades said it was his priority to solve the Cyprus problem “to put an end to the unacceptable situation”.
This would be based on the principles and values of international law, the EU, UN resolutions expressing the will of the overwhelming majority of states to bring justice to Cyprus, to withdraw occupying troops, and to end the anachronistic system of guarantees.
“We have exhausted all room for concession,” he said.
What we are seeking is to have a solution that is lasting, functional, and protects all citizens without exception, the president said.
First and foremost, he said, the island is an EU member state. “Therefore Turkey’s justifications that it supposedly wants to maintain the guarantees for the protection of Turkish Cypriots are being refuted by the mere fact that the EU is present”.
He also said the Turkish Cypriot insistence to be given equal political weight cannot happen. “What is called political equality is nothing but political inequality, because, as I have said many times, the minority community would actually govern the majority”.
On the contrary, he said, the Greek Cypriot side has never sought to impose itself on the Turkish Cypriots. “We never wanted to usurp their rights,” Anastasiades said, “what we were seeking was through the provisions to have mutual respect. Not only ours vis-à-vis the Turkish Cypriots, but also theirs and Turkey’s vis-à-vis the Greek Cypriots”.
He said that Turkey had formally raised the demand for partition for the first time on April 25, 2021 when it tabled proposals to the Secretary general of the UN, outlining a solution based on two states.
To accept such a solution would be opening a Pandora’s Box, Anastasiades said.
“In this way many European and not only, states would face similar challenges and problems. It is therefore up to us, if we stick to the positions of principle as laid down in the United Nations resolutions, the principles and values of the EU, the time for vindication can only come.”