Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades reiterated Tuesday that the island must again become a normal state and urged Greek and Turkish Cypriots to work toward that goal.
“Cyprus must at long last become a normal state again, without any interventions by third parties,” Anastasiades said in his address at the 19th World Conference of the World Federation of Overseas Cypriots (POMAK), the International Coordinating Committee – Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA) and the World Conference of Young Overseas Cypriots (NEPOMAK), in Nicosia.
Greek and Turkish Cypriots, he insisted, can live and work together. But neither side, he clarified, should become a springboard in the service of third parties.
“Each will respect his own national identity and his own traditions – they will be Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, but above all they will have one single homeland, Cyprus,” he stressed. If they can achieve this, he said, then “we can live together” and certain sensitive issues could surely be overcome.
Anastasiades also expressed his appreciation to diaspora Cypriots for their continuous efforts to support Cyprus and pledged that Nicosia will continue to be there for them in every way possible.
“I would like you to know one thing: At critical times for our country… we join forces, and I trust that everybody, without exception, will do just that if the need arises,” he added. For their part, diaspora Cypriots pledged to continue efforts to highlight Turkey’s irrational demands.
Greece’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Terence Quick said that the Greek government is preparing a bill that will revive the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE), which will be independent of political parties and governments and self-financed.
Referring to the recent failed reunification talks at Crans-Montana in Switzerland, he said that he had submitted proposals to address the concerns of the Turkish Cypriots without ignoring those of the Greek Cypriots. These proposals included the abolition of the rights of guarantee and the right to unilateral intervention, as well as the withdrawal of Turkish occupation troops within a certain timeframe.
“It was not possible for our proposal to be accepted,” Anastasiades said, adding that Ankara insisted on a permanent presence of occupation troops in the northern Turkish-Cypriot constituent state of a future federal Cyprus.
“I wonder who would have backed a proposed solution or how anybody could suggest that the people of Cyprus accept a solution that includes the following: maintaining the Treaty of Guarantees and the unilateral right of Turkey’s intervention for 15 or 10 years without a sunset clause but a review clause; establishing a military base in the Turkish-Cypriot constituent state in perpetuity with nearly 2,000 Turkish soldiers on the pretext of protecting the state of Cyprus from foreign threats. I would ask you: Who is threatening Cyprus?” he asked. “Why should Cyprus want Turkey’s guarantees?” he said.