Nicosia, December 15, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency
President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades has expressed hope that in 2016 “we will be in a position to tell the people of Cyprus that we are ridding ourselves of the Turkish occupation, we are reunifying our homeland, we are creating conditions of a modern, European, functional state, but especially securing the prospects and future of the whole of our people, whether Turkish Cypriots or Greek Cypriots”.
Addressing the 32nd Annual General Assembly of the Union of Cyprus Municipalities, President Anastasiades said that in the Cyprus issue “there is understanding on a significant number of issues” and that “there has been progress in a number of issues”.
“However, at the same time I must admit that we are still facing problems. But it was and remains obvious that 41 years after the Turkish invasion, some realities are creating the problems. And they must be addressed in an effective manner. I would like to believe that through the determination and will – which I like to believe exists in both sides – and also the contribution and assistance of Ankara, which should encourage and support the decisions of the Turkish Cypriot side, I hope that in 2016 we will be in a position to tell the people of Cyprus that we are ridding ourselves of the occupation, we are reunifying our homeland, we are creating conditions of a modern, European, functional state, but especially securing the prospects and future of the whole of our people, whether Turkish Cypriots or Greek Cypriots”.
President Anastasiades pointed out that “no one is aiming at abolishing the Republic of Cyprus” and that “what we are pursuing is the evolution of the Republic of Cyprus” into a “bizonal bicommunal federation”, adding that “the acquis communautaire, human rights, the four fundamental freedoms will necessarily be guaranteed”.
“I would like to believe that at the end we will arrive at an agreement which will not allow further existence of anachronistic institutions or agreements”, he said, adding that “Cyprus is and will remain an EU member”.
Cyprus, which joined the EU in 2004, has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. UN-led peace talks are currently underway between Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.