In a special ceremony held Monday night at the Presidential Palace, the President of the Republic of Cyprus Nikos Anastasiadis awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Makarios III to the US Senator and Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Robert Menendez.
In his speech at the ceremony, President Anastasiades said, among other things, that the medal symbolizes the gratitude of the Cypriot people for the political principles of Robert Menendez, with which he made the greatest contribution to the promotion of human rights, the rule of law and democracy globaly.
The President of the Republic referred extensively to the political life of Robert Menendez, noting that “he is a man of works who fights for a just world and for universal human rights.
The violation of these economic values has not left Senator Menendez indifferent as far as Cyprus is concerned, whose people, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, have been deprived of their fundamental rights since the Turkish invasion of 1974 and the ongoing occupation.
That is why during his career Senator Menendez has insisted on the withdrawal of the occupying Turkish troops from the island and the restoration of basic human rights and fundamental freedoms for all Cypriots, through the achievement of a viable and lasting solution in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions and EU principles and values.
A solution that would allow the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots to live together and cooperate, in an environment of security and prosperity “.
He also referred to the struggle to defend the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus and the exercise of its sovereign rights, away from unilateral and illegal actions by Turkey at sea and on the ground that contradict US foreign policy and the need to respect the rule of law. .
“We very much appreciate the Senator’s clear condemnation, and his call on President Biden to take action, on Turkey’s intention to change the status of part of the enclosed city of Famagusta,” said President Anastasiades.
The President of the Republic also referred extensively to the important role of Senator Menendez in the upgrading of relations and strategic cooperation between Cyprus, Greece and the USA, as well as with neighboring countries such as, among others, Israel.
For his part, Senator Menendez said, among other things, that during his tenure, President Anastasiades has rendered dignity and leadership to the presidency and has represented Cyprus with considerable prestige and pride.
He also thanked his wife Nadine, whose mother was born in Cyprus, as Robert Menendez said, and expressed his warm thanks to the expatriate organizations in Cyprus and Greece.
He noted that the threats against the sovereignty and the future of Cyprus still exist, noting the intentions of the President of Turkey to create two states, which contradicts the UN Security Council resolutions, but also the convergences achieved through the years. “This is wrong for all Cypriots,” he said.
He added that Cyprus is an excellent place and the Republic of Cyprus has achieved a lot for its people, noting that it is a great missed opportunity for the people in the occupied part of Cyprus. He also pointed out that if the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots were left alone to negotiate then they would find the way to reunification.
Finally, Robert Menendez, who noted that he is in favor of promoting US relations with Cyprus and Greece, said that “my commitment to this relationship, in Cyprus, is deep, long-term and will exist as long as I am a Senator. “My goal is to see the last Turkish soldier leave the island,” he concluded./ibna
Photo: Andreas Manoli