The European Union must play a decisive role in the Cyprus problem, Defence Minister Michalis Georgallas said on Sunday.
The minister was speaking at a service marking the anniversaries of March 25, 1821 and April 1, 1955 held on Sunday at the Ayios Minas church in Yeri, Nicosia.
“The current situation in Cyprus cannot be the future of our country. The division and the Turkish occupation cannot be perpetuated,” Georgallas stressed.
Although there are difficulties, he said, restlessness and trying to assign blame “did not and will not lead anywhere”.
“What is needed are constructive initiatives and useful and productive proposals that will lead to further convergence and the creation of a climate of understanding.” In this direction, we must move forward according to the defence minister to create the necessary conditions for the resumption of dialogue to achieve the reunification of Cyprus.
To do this, the president Nikos Christodoulides and the government “believe that the European Union can and must play a decisive role,” he declared.
Christodoulides presented his proposal for a more active role of the EU in the national problem during the recent Eurosummit before he briefed party leaders at the first National Council session held under his administration.
“It must be understood by all that a solution to the Cyprus problem…will be to the benefit of all”, Gerogallas noted. He said this solution means the withdrawal of the occupying troops, the implementation of the acquis communautaire and the liberation of Cyprus from the anachronistic system of guarantees and foreign intervention.
He said “we owe this to the sacred legacies of our nation’s struggles and to the heroes who paid the price with their blood” as well as to future generations.
Recalling the most important milestones of the Greek Revolution, the defence minister noted that it “constitutes the first successful national liberation movement in Europe in the 19th century, and a unique historical milestone event with global implications”.
He added that “the Greek Revolution was a world-historical event, placed at the centre of the value structure of Europe”.
Referring to Cyprus’ participation in the Greek Revolution, the minister said “the sacrifice of the Cypriots and all the other heroic martyrs of the 21st century was the spark that lit the flame and gave birth to the next heroes of the homeland”. The “epic” struggle of Eoka in 55-59 is the most striking proof, he said.
Those who died during the Eoka struggle “offered all of us the Republic of Cyprus as an independent, internationally recognised state”.
Hence, both historical moments showed that faith and the pure defence of freedom are “an integral part of the very existence of Hellenism”, Georgallas said.
Today, he added, taking all the lessons of the struggle of Eoka and the Revolution of 1821, but also of other great historical struggles and moments of Hellenism, we must, with collectivity, a sense of responsibility, unanimity and unity, be worthy of our history.