We will not be drawn into what Turkey is pretending to invoke in order to further strengthen the occupying forces, President Nicos Anastasiades said on Saturday after attending a military parade in Nicosia to mark 62 years of independence.

“The Republic of Cyprus is now shielded by its EU membership and the strategic alliances it has achieved not only with neighbouring states and other EU members, but also with other powers who seem to understand and share our concerns surrounding the new rhetoric of the Turkish government,” he added.

He said the island’s intention and purpose are only to strengthen the deterrent force to protect Cyprus from the schemes of others.

“Yes, we are obliged to strengthen the Armed Forces, but at the same time, it is well known that Cyprus has always, especially the Greek Cypriot side, wished for the peaceful resolution of the Cyprus problem,” he added.

He said he would not be drawn in by Turkey’s pretences that could see it up the number of troops on the island.

The president said Turkey is neither worried by the deterrent power of the Republic of Cyprus nor is it unaware that the Republic of Cyprus seeks peace through a functional solution that ensures the human rights of all citizens, Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots.

“In fact, what I would like to say to the Turkish leadership is that we care much more about the wellbeing of our compatriots than some others who unfortunately use them,” he said.

Asked how the island will deal with the new Turkish threats, Anastasiades said “I don’t want you to have any doubt that we have already started the consultations, we have started the mobilisations and of course, we will not stand idly by”.

Earlier during the day, President Anastasiades laid a wreath at the Imprisoned Graves. He then laid another at a monument in the Presidential Park and one at the statue of the island’s first president Archbishop Makarios III, in the forecourt of the Presidential Palace.