By Kyriacos Kyriacou – Nicosia
A petition calling to exert pressure on Turkey to change its stance and work towards a just solution of the Cyprus issue, which is the reunification of the divided island, was given to the five permanent members of the UN Security Council in Nicosia by the Morphou Municipality and the local authorities of the Turkish occupied Morphou area.
The petition was handed over to the Embassies on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the occupation of the town of Morphou by Turkish troops, which invaded the island in 1974.
In statements after handing over the petition to a US Embassy official, Morphou Mayor Charalambos Pittas said that in the past forty years Morphou residents have witnessed Turkish intransigence and its provocative stance.
This is something which should forge unity between refugees, political leadership and the people of Cyprus so that it can be dealt with, he added.
The Mayor appeared critical of the tolerance displayed towards Turkey by the international community and in particular the EU to the detriment of the rights of the Cypriot people. The Municipal Council of Morphou, he added, is gravely concerned over developments in the Cyprus talks because, as he said, it is obvious that Turkey uses the ongoing UN-led dialogue to serve its own ends which are none other than Cyprus` division and the recognition of the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime in the northern Turkish occupied areas of the island.
Responses to the petition
Receiving the petition, a US Embassy official thanked Pittas and assured him that she “will make sure this gets to the right people”.
On his part Russian Embassy`s 2nd in Command official Uri Kazakov said that Moscow`s position on the Cyprus issue has been the same since the invasion.
“We have always been, we still are and we will be friends with the Cypriots”, he stressed, adding that in all contacts with Turkish officials, Russian officials bring up the matter of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus and of the occupation of 37% of the Republic`s territory.
He pointed out that “We help as much as we can, but it does not only depend on us,” adding that unfortunately some countries who could contribute to a solution do not do so. Asked to identify these countries, he said that “you know them better than I do”.
Deputy Chief of Mission of the Chinese Embassy Fei Shengchao assured the Morphou representatives that “we are very sympathetic with your cause, with the suffering of the Cypriot people. China is also a divided country and the only divided permanent member of the Security Council of the UN and yours is the only divided European Union member”.
Accepting the petition on the part of the French Embassy, Councilor Eric Millet said that France has had a constant position “to support Cyprus on this difficult issue and especially within the UN as a permanent member of the Security Council”.
“We will be on your side, on the side of Cyprus, to claim justice and to find a solution to this conflict which began 40 years ago”, he noted, adding that the need for a solution becomes more urgent as the longer a situation remains unresolved, the more difficult it is to solve it.
Millet said that during the French President François Hollande`s last visit to Turkey he called for the need of a solution of the Cyprus issue. It was also clearly stressed, he added, “that the solution of the Cyprus conflict is of course a precondition for any evolution of the situation which places Turkey in the EU”.
Later on the petition was handed over to the President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades and the the House of Representatives. It was also communicated to the British High Commission and the EU Representation in Cyprus. “There cannot be a solution to the Cyprus problem without the return of the Turkish occupied town of Morphou and the President of the Republic will not concur to such a solution, Deputy Government Spokesman Victoras Papadopoulos has said.