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Only presence of the EU will break Cyprob deadlock says President during Eldyk camp visit

ΠτΔ – Επίσκεψη σε στρατόπεδο της Ε
Visit to the military camp of the Hellenic Force in Cyprus, ELDYK

The Cyprus problem can only be resolved with a more active role of the European Union, President Nikos Christodoulides said during his visit at the Nicosia based Eldyk camp on Wednesday.

Speaking to the soldiers and staff of the Athalassa camp, the president reiterated that the goal of the new government “always in coordination with the Greek government” is to break the deadlock on the Cyprus problem.

The effort, he said, is to resume talks from where they were left off as to achieve the liberation and reunification of the country.

“We will not under any circumstances accept the current state of affairs, the illegal, unacceptable state of affairs,” Christodoulides said.

“Only through a more prominent presence of the EU in this effort, especially in the present phase when the aim is to break the deadlock, can the conditions be created to lead to a mutually acceptable state of affairs,” the president said.

Although “we know the difficulties, and we hear the statements made by the Turkish side every day…we are not complacent,” he said.

The new president recently briefed the European Union summit of his proposal for a stronger EU involvement in the national problem before he briefed local parties last month.

Chirstodoulides’ government is not approaching the Cyprus problem as a blame game, nor as a communication game, the president said. “For us, it is a matter of survival, a matter of existence.”

“We will do everything possible to achieve what you, with your presence, have been defending since the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus: the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus.”

Extending Easter wishes, Christodoulides said he knows “all too well” how difficult it is to be away from family on such days, but that he hopes the hospitality of locals can help them feel like home.

He highlighted that their presence within the Zurich-London agreements to defend the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus is “highly appreciated by the Republic of Cyprus and the Cypriot people”.

The president was accompanied by the Minister of Defence Michalis Giorgallas, the Chief of the National Guard, Lieutenant General Demokritos Zervakis and the Deputy Government Spokeswoman Doxa Komodromou.

After the visit, the president told reporters that contacts continue at a European level as part of efforts to seek more active involvement of the EU and have “specific results” after the Turkish elections.

“My associates are in contact with counterparts of foreign leaders of EU member states or people who are in charge of EU institutions,” he said.

The president also wished that the good climate created after Turkey’s earthquakes between the country and Greece will continue saying this can also mean a positive impact on the Cyprus-Turkey relations.

ΠτΔ – Επίσκεψη σε φυλάκιο της Εθνι
Visit to the National Guard Outpost at Ledra Street

Commenting on Turkey’s failure to implement the Customs Union Agreement, the president said this led to a reaction from the EU with the freezing funds or by not being able to move forward with Euro-Turkish issues.

But priority for the president are the moves on the part of the north observed in the buffer zone and the fenced-off area of Famagusta which appear to go against relevant resolutions. These include the recent revamp and controversial reopening of the Cetinkaya football stadium in the buffer zone.

“It is something we are discussing with the UN,” Christodoulides said, noting the government is in constant communication with the United Nations.

“There are many things for which we are not satisfied with the actions of the occupation regime, which is why there is this constant contact with the UN as well.”

He rubbished claims that the north found fertile ground with the attitude of the new Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (Unficyp) Colin Stewart. “UN officials, whether in Cyprus, New York or elsewhere, are bound by the resolutions and decisions of the organisation they work for,” the president said.

Christodoulides and the officials also visited the Ledra street outpost, where the president declared to Cypriot guardsmen that Cyprus must have a deterrent power in the EU due to its location.

“This is why you should be proud to serve the National Guard. You are also contributing to this effort that we are making,” he said before signing the visitors’ book. The book existed at the outpost until 2008 when the Leda roadblock was opened and was reopened on the occasion of the president’s visit.

For his part, the defence minister said the specific outpost speaks of the history of the area and the capital since 1964 and expressed hope for the end of occupation.

“For this resurrection, we will work…so that we can again right all the wrongs that we have seen…and bring resurrection and freedom to the whole occupied part of Cyprus.”

In his statements, the national guard chief said he is “proud” of the guardsmen who are the future of the country and will be carrying out their mandatory service during the Easter holidays.

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