In his speech at the Cyprus Independence Dinner hosted by the Greek Cypriot Brotherhood in London, President Christofias said that the Greek Cypriot Brotherhood “has always played a leading role in our efforts to protect the rights of the people of Cyprus and has found itself in the forefront of the struggles to achieve freedom and to safeguard its independence”.
“The objective to reverse the faits accomplis of the invasion and occupation, to put an end to the inflow of illegal settlers and to reunify our country, is for us our primary goal. We concentrate all our efforts towards this goal”, he noted.
He added that “our aim is, through the negotiations, to reach a mutually acceptable solution that would really reunify Cyprus and its people”.
“A solution”, he explained, “that would create the conditions so that Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots would build their common future, free from occupation and in conditions of peace”.
As he said, “this is the goal we are striving for; fully aware of the difficulties and the fact that time is not working to the benefit of Cypriots”.
Referring to the ongoing UN –led direct negotiations for a solution to the Cyprus problem, President Christofias said that “indeed, after almost 15 months the results are not those we had expected”.
“Nevertheless”, he continued, “we had no illusions. We did not expect that the road would be easy, that is why we do not fear the difficulties”.
He stressed that “our determination and commitment remain the same. This is why we turn to our Turkish Cypriot compatriots, expecting more constructive response from them. Our own positive stance is the proof of our will”.
“On the other hand, this stance has revealed Turkey’s heavy responsibilities”, Cyprus President underlined.
Therefore, he added, “we ask the international community to intervene so that Turkey changes its stance and contributes substantively and in deeds not just in words, to the efforts of the two leaders at the negotiating table”.
“Turkey maintains armed forces in Cyprus, has brought tens of thousands of settlers and continues to violate the principles of international law and international Treaties. Turkey has the responsibility to solve these aspects”, he said, noting that “it also has the responsibility to work towards the solution of the problem”.
He further said that “after nearly 15 months, whole chapters have not yet been discussed properly”, adding that “this is adequate proof that Turkey has not contributed at all to this process”.
On the contrary, he continued, “I have the feeling that Turkey has already started the blame game, accusing our side of lacking good will and of delaying the negotiations”.
Cyprus President said that in December Turkey has a critical rendezvous, noting that Cyprus supports with consistency Turkey’s full membership to the European Union.
“We have shown patience and perseverance, expecting that Turkey would be forthcoming in implementing its obligations vis-a-vis the EU and, above all, in supporting the negotiating process in a practical and substantial way”, he pointed out.
Unfortunately, he said, “Turkey has not done so”.
“Under these conditions, everyone must understand that Turkey cannot continue its course towards the EU unhampered, while its stance remains provocative and intransigent”, President Christofias concluded.
President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat began peace talks in September 2008, under UN auspices to find a mutually acceptable solution that will reunite Cyprus, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.
FinancialMirror, November 26, 2009