Nikos Kotzias: We are the judges not the judged

Nikos Kotzias: We are the judges not the judged

The Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, completed his visit to Nicosia on Tuesday with a speech at an event for the anniversary of the Greek Independence of the 25th March 1821 and of the beginning of the 1st April liberation struggle of the Greek Cypriots against English colonialism.Both Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and the Archbishop of Cyprus Chrysostomos II spoke at the event organized by the Archbishop Makarios III Foundation.During his address Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias spoke of his“”debt” to Cyprus as it was constructed through his critical reading of history throughout his life, giving a complete account of events, accountability, question marks, but of also sending a plethora of messages and harsh criticism in all directions.

Starting from the concept of orthodox ecumenical patriotism as a cultural identity element of both Greece and Cyprus, Mr. Kotzias outlined the progress of the two countries in the Western and European culture as both “producer and womb” while at the same time calling it a melting pot of cultures of the East and south which became a crossroads of geo-strategic importance.

Referring to the countries of the West, he invited them to “refrain from statements of arrogance towards us and much more from all forms of violence,” stressing that “we have no reason to apologize together for the crimes of colonialism, nor forget that we have been victims of colonial empires ” and “we do not owe them but they owe us and it’s proper, it’s their obligation to refrain from exercising real and even more nonexistent rights over Cyprus and Greece”.In contrast to 1821 and to 1960 Greece and Cyprus, stated Kotzias, “they are no longer under developed states, but states that are strong, independent and members of many of the most important organizations in the world today. States that jointly shape with the rest of the EU, policy towards Turkey’s accession to the EU, the strengthening of the EU-Turkey Customs Union regime, but also the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. ”

“We are now, those who judge and not the judged, jointly making decisions for the highest national-state interests of third parties” underlined Kotzias adding that  “particularly with respect to the states whose negotiation for the success of their desires will begin soon” that ”their attitude towards us, as on the Cyprus issue, will significantly affect our future choices.”The Greek Foreign Minister requested “that all demonstrate the necessary respect on the basis of principles of international law and the sense of justice and equity towards us” as he said, “some cannot still rely on bonds, rights and claims of an outdated era when Greece and Cyprus were still colonies.”

Running a complex historical timeline from Greece’s Revolution, starting from March 25, 1821, which “showed people that there needs to be unity in the soul, will in the mind and a heart with determination,” the foreign minister stressed that Greece today is included in the West, but it is a “bridge” between East – West, and “must have a multidimensional and active foreign policy, democratic, with numerous initiatives,” as ”the international balance of forces should be taken into account”.

Referring to the Cyprus problem which arises after the war, Nikos Kotzias explained that, although the feeling of historical continuity played an important role in the consciousness of Cypriots, the Turkish Cypriot feeling was not sufficiently taken into account nor were their ways of association in the struggle for self-determination, while the Turkish factor sometimes was overestimated and sometimes underestimated and unilateral perceptions led to problems with the Turkish Cypriot community which the British factor took advantage./ΙΒΝΑ