October 21, 2017

Message by President Clerides on the occasion of Cyprus Independence Day

The anniversary of the independence of the Cyprus Republic coincides this year with a period of talks held within the framework of the United Nations in order to find a solution to the Cyprus problem. We hope that this concurrence in time will be a good omen for breaking the impasse and leading to a solution of a serious political problem of the region – a problem which has been causing hardship and insecurities to the whole of the Cyprus population in the last decades; a problem which is a potential source of military conflict which could draw Greece and Turkey into war and, therefore, destabilize the border region.

The solution of the Cyprus problem as envisaged by the UN resolutions must come from an agreement between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities. The solution must be consistent with the relevant Security Council resolutions, the two high level agreements, human rights conventions, international law and the acquis communautaire. I truly believe that such a solution will serve the basic interests of the parties involved, mainly those of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities.

On this occasion I would like to reiterate with emphasis that we shall never agree to a confederal solution. A federal, united, demilitarized Cyprus, incorporated into the European Union whose Common Foreign and Security Policy will follow consistently, will serve the vital interests of all.

We are determined to do everything possible to contribute to the creation or utilization of every opportunity in the search of a peaceful solution to the Cyprus problem the soonest possible. However, we shall never accept the present faits accomplis of the invasion, which were caused by Turkey’s expansionist strategy. This strategy not only endangers the natural and national survival of Cypriot Hellenism in its ancestral land but tends to turn the Turkish Cypriot community into a minority in the occupied territory while at the same time it compels it to live in conditions of economic recession.

We are participating constructively in the Cyprus talks. If the Turkish side maintains the same stand, it will not be long before we have a solution. But for the Turkish side to take a constructive stand, the international community must exercise due influence.

To the Turkish Cypriot community I send a message of sincere cooperation in the effort of finding a peaceful solution of the Cyprus problem. A solution which will benefit equally both communities in all fields.

I also call on the Turkish Cypriot community to cooperate with us in the negotiations which will lead Cyprus to the European Union and create a better future for the new generations of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots in the economic and political fields – a future which will safeguard in practice respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.