Following the recent meeting of the President Nicos Anastasiades with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, the Greek Cypriot side is ready and will fully respond to the preparatory process proposed by the UN Secretary General, a press release by the Office of the Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou says.
It further notes that the Greek Cypriot side expects that Turkey will also contribute to this effort, by ceasing its illegal activities and its tactics of creating tension and destabilization in the region and that it will engage in substantive negotiations that Ankara itself has been delaying or/and refuses for two years now.
It notes that the aim remains, through substantive talks, “that we hope to start as soon as possible”, to reach an honest agreement on the basis of UN resolutions and decisions, as well as EU principles and rules, which will lead to a viable and functional solution, ceasing the occupation and control of Cyprus by Turkey.
“For the past two years, since the aftermath of the deadlock at the UN conference in Crans Montana, the President of the Republic has been asking and seeking the resumption of negotiations from where they were left, in order to make use of the mediation of the UNSG who had proposed, ia, the abandonment of the anachronistic system of guarantees and the agreed withdrawal of the occupying army”, it adds.
It says that “we look forward to a peaceful future of co-existence for all Cypriots, within a modern European state, on the basis of what is set by UN resolutions and decisions. In a truly independent country without guarantees or military means from other countries and that will be able to use its sovereignty and its natural wealth to the benefit of all citizens, as the Republic of Cyprus has so far done and continues to do”.
Referring to the fact that 45 years ago to this day the Turkish military launched its second offensive against the Republic of Cyprus, in full violation of international law, including the UN Charter, despite the ceasefire that had been agreed, the press release says that our thoughts always go back to occupied Famagusta, Mesaoria, Karpasia and Morphou, but also Kyrenia and all our occupied areas.
“We continue and insist with peaceful means to resolve the Cyprus issue, through a functional and sustainable agreement that will make our country truly independent, a modern EU member state. where all legitimate residents enjoy human rights and fundamental freedoms”.
It is recalled that in August 1974, Turkish troops occupied by force about 36% of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus and 70% of the country`s production capacity, while forcibly expelling one third of the Greek population from their homes and properties, which resulted to hordes of refugees, fear and misery.
The statement concludes by noting that for 45 years now Turkey has ignored UN Resolutions and Decisions on Famagusta and in general on the Cyprus issue and says that in addition to that, this summer Turkey proceeded to illegal interventions in Cyprus` Exclusive Economic Zone and instead of implementing the relevant Decisions of the UNSC, the occupation regime threatens Famagusta and the properties of its legitimate residents.
The Turkish army invaded Cyprus on July 20, 1974, and launched the second phase of the invasion on August 14 of the same year, occupying the best part of Mesaoria, Famagusta, Karpasia and Morphou.
The Turkish side continues to disregard calls by the international community relating to Cyprus and continues to hold the city of Famagusta hostage of its illegal military occupation. Dubbed a “ghost town”, Famagusta’s fenced off section – called Varosha – remains to this day deserted, abandoned to the elements.
All in all, almost 37% of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus came under Turkish military occupation. Nearly one third of the population, some 200,000 Greek Cypriots, were forcibly uprooted from their homes and properties, thousands were killed during the hostilities, over 1,000 persons were listed as missing while thousands of Greek Cypriots and Maronites remained enclaved.
Numerous UN resolutions have demanded respect to the independence, unity and territorial integrity of Cyprus, the return of the displaced to their homes, and the withdrawal of foreign troops from the island, but all resolutions have been ignored by Turkey.
Anastasiades has stated that during the informal meeting with Akinci on August 9, he had the opportunity to elaborate on the problems created due to initiatives which are diametrically opposed to the UN resolutions, as those by Turkish Cypriot politicians Kudret Ozersay and Ersin Tatar as regards Famagusta.
Cyprus is an EU member state since May 2004. The Turkish occupied part of Cyprus is also considered EU territory, where the acquis communautaire is suspended until the solution of the Cyprus problem.