Former socialist prime minister Costas Simitis is expected to hail the “exceptional cooperation” he had with late Cypriot President Glafkos Clerides during his tenure, when the two politicians achieved a “wise distribution of roles” that yielded results – Cyprus' accession into the European Union – according to a statement released ahead of an event in Nicosia on Saturday to mark 100 years since the Cypriot leader's birth.
“Despite our different ideological backgrounds, we managed to achieve results on the two national issues that we were called to face – Cyprus' European accession and the Cyprus issue – because we were inspired by the same political philosophy,” Simitis says in the statement.
“That is because Europeans were extremely reluctant to accept a divided Cyprus into the EU and Ankara threatened with an unprecedented reaction.”
Simitis is also expected to note the crucial role played by late diplomat and Greek-Cypriot alternate foreign minister Giannos Kranidiotis, and the important contribution of other politicians such as Georgios Vassiliou, Ioannis Kasoulides, Christos Stylianides and Michalis Papapetrou in “the daily battles” that were being fought at the time.
He will say that Cyprus achieved its goal thanks to “the political virtues and experienced leadership” of Clerides.
According to the same press release, the former Greek premier will also say that the Cypriot issue “will not remain forever unresolved” and that a solution will be achieved with the active participation of Greek-Cypriots “against the fait accompli created by time.”
The event is organized by the Glafkos Clerides Institute. Clerides, who died in November 2013 in Nicosia, served as president from from 1993 to 2003 and is credited with his country's accession into the EU.