Message by the President of the Republic, Mr Nicos Anastasiades, on the occasion of the Republic of Cyprus’ establishment anniversary
On the occasion of the 62nd anniversary since the declaration and establishment of the Republic of Cyprus, I address all the people of Cyprus with feelings of respect and appreciation.
I pay due honour to all those who fought and sacrificed their own lives to relief the country from colonialism and then protect it from the invaders.
I express my absolute respect to those who, with sacrifices, defended the democratic legitimacy in our country, during the coup d’état in 1974.
Thanks to their struggles, with the painful but also the positive experiences of our people as a whole, we believed in our own strengths, and we faced with vigor, problems and crises that set even our existence under question.
It is thanks to the struggles of our people that today our country enjoys its position as a member of the European family, as a strong pillar of stability and cooperation in a region that has historically been at the heart of major conflicts.
The deepest and open wound of our country is none other than the Turkish occupation.
Since July 1974 and for 48 years, Cyprus and its citizens, especially Greek Cypriots, have been deprived of basic human rights. The right to ownership, security, property, free movement.
The occupation army has been enforcing the law of arms ever since.
In the almost ten years that I have been President, I have not failed to do everything that could cause even a rift in this unacceptable situation.
Thanks to our own initiatives, and our creative proposals, in Crans-Montana we succeeded in bringing Turkey before its responsibilities, discussing for the first time the security issue and the withdrawal of the occupation army. We succeeded in getting the Secretary-General himself to present a comprehensive six-point framework, which the Turkish side undermined, at the very last minute, resulting in the collapse of this effort.
Many times, since then, I have submitted creative proposals, without considering the political cost at the home front. Always, of course, bearing in mind the strict red lines of security that we have collectively formed as political leadership.
My desire for a solution was and is strong and sincere, which has always conflicted with the Turkish intransigence that has become even more aggressive over the last few years, by shamelessly putting forward claims for the recognition of sovereignty in the pseudostate.
With its politics, statements and daily provocations, Turkey now moves completely outside the framework not only of international law – which it has been violating, one way or another, for years – but also outside the framework of a rational approach, attempting to create tensions and insecurity.
Everyone acknowledges that what we have achieved during the 62 years of the Republic of Cyprus, was made possible through the struggles and sacrifices of our people and always navigating through stormy waters.
For 62 years we forge our resolve, and each time, after every crisis, we rebuild and shield our country.
Nothing has derailed us from the steady path forward and this, among other things, is evidenced by our daily progress in all areas, by the economic stability that we achieved with the sacrifices of the citizens, the big projects in our country, the high level of education of our citizens, the welfare state and the prosperity in our society, and the commitment to the plans for the future of the country through the legacy we leave with the National Plan “Cyprus – Tomorrow”.
This big project, this vision for the future, cannot be disconnected from our desire to find a viable and functional solution to the Cyprus problem that will provide the opportunity for peaceful and creative coexistence with our Turkish Cypriot compatriots.
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