Nicosia.- (GreekNewsOnline, CNA)
At the moment, for the first time, public opinion around the world is against Turkey not only for the Cyprus problem and humanitarian issues but also for the handling of refugees, the aggressive behavior against Greece and turning Hagia Sophia into a mosque, President of PSEKA Philip Christopher has said.
In his speech at the World Conference of Overseas Cypriots, PSEKA President noted that we should use this public opinion and called on Cyprus’s President Nicos Anastasiades and Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides to give a plan to all Oversees Cypriots to present it to the world. A plan, he explained, to find a solution to the Cyprus problem which will include hydrocarbons and what we can offer to hostile Turkey, such as a pipeline.
He went on to say that Greece and Cyprus should offer a plan as this is the time for the Cypriot Government to overtake Turkey with a detailed plan to find a solution and not just react to Turkish actions. “Τhis plan should be given to the United Nations, the United States, the EU, Great Britain, Russia and all nations, and give incentives Turkey to want a solution,” he said.
President of POMAK Andreas Papaevripides said in his address that we must realize that Turkey has a plan to revive the Ottoman Empire and the slogan of the `Blue Homeland` is not the only goal.
He noted that the Overseas Cypriots must work in a coordinated and stubborn manner in the countries where they live in so that Erdogan `s dreams never come true.
President of POMAK congratulated the Government and the citizens of Cyprus who with the right measures they took and the discipline they showed managed to successfully address the coronavirus pandemic.
President of NEPOMAK, Christos Tuton, in his speech, referred to the fact that this year we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus and remember those who sacrificed their lives for the independence of our country.
“We want to see the continuation of the negotiations, to see a reunited Cyprus, but instead of trying to find a solution, Turkey is carrying out illegal actions in the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus and other illegal actions,” he added.
During the Conference, the participants were briefed on the issue of the Government`s energy policy by the Director General of the Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Industry Stelios Himonas and by the Minister of Defense Charalambos Petrides on his field of competence.
The proceedings of this year`s Conference were held for the first time without the physical presence of the delegates, via teleconference, due to the conditions of the coronavirus pandemic, according to an announcement sent out by PIO.
At the beginning of the Conference, the Presidential Commissioner Photis Photiou welcomed the participants and referred, inter alia, to the creative contribution of the Cypriots of the Diaspora to the development of local communities, to the fact that they at the same time promote our national identity, culture and civilization, thus helping to continue the dynamic presence of Cypriot Hellenism abroad.
President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades has stressed that he will never accept blackmail tactics or any negotiation under threats regarding the Cyprus issue, noting that recently everyone has seen an escalation of Turkey’s internationally deplored actions.
Addressing the online ceremony of the World Conference of Overseas Cypriots, President Anastasiades said that actions such as the violation of the Republic of Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone and sea, the threats against Greece and most of its neighbours, and the new invasions in Libya and Syria, which contradict international law and raise tension in the broader area, undermining stability, peace and security.
President Anastasiades pointed out that the only way to terminate and prevent such tension was to adopt a decisive stance with measures that will clarify to Turkey that it cannot continue to act undisturbed in the area.
He said efforts were focusing on reaching a peaceful and viable solution, based on international law, and noted that, apart from good preparation and cooperation for a positive outcome of negotiations, Turkey had to respect the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus and terminate any provocative actions, especially its illegal invasion in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone, and stop threatening to colonise the fenced-off town of Famagusta.
President Anastasiades made clear that he would never accept blackmail tactics or any negotiation under threats regarding the Cyprus issue, adding that he would not present to the people a proposed solution that did not meet their expectations and did not restore their inalienable rights.
Addressing the overseas Cypriots, he praised their work and efforts towards a peaceful solution of the Cyprus problem.
He also expressed his sorrow for the overseas Cypriots who lost the battle against COVID-19 and his gratitude for all the assistance in repatriating Cypriots who were stranded abroad during the lockdown.
Cyprus has strengthened its multilevel cooperation with friendly countries on issues of Diaspora and plans to sign a new memorandum of cooperation between Cyprus, Greece and Lebanon as soon as the conditions allow, Presidential Commissioner for Humanitarian Issues and Overseas Cypriots Fotis Fotiou said on Tuesday.
He also stressed that the issue of missing persons of Cyprus remains an open wound, speaking at the World Conference of Cypriots of the Diaspora, held for the first time via videoconference due to Covid-19 pandemic.
Fotiou expressed his appreciation for the role of expatriates Cypriots, stressing that they promote Cyprus’ national identity and culture forming the continuation of the dynamic presence of the Cypriot Hellenism abroad. He also stressed that diaspora youth “is the future” and stressed Cyprus efforts to strengthen contacts and collaborations with young people of other ethnicities, especially in the communities and countries with which they have established and promote special collaborations.
He also pointed out that Cyprus, has strengthen its cooperation with friendly countries on diaspora issues.
“A very important chapter of our National Strategy for the Diaspora is the bilateral and trilateral cooperation we have with Israel, Egypt, Armenia and other countries. The signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation on Diaspora Issues between Cyprus, Greece and Lebanon is planned as soon as the conditions allow.”, he noted.
He also said that close cooperation with the wider Greek Hellenism was the main priority, especially during that period with the illegal and provocative actions of Turkey in the wider region of the Eastern Mediterranean.
Actions, as Fotiou said, that negatively affect the efforts to resolve Cyprus long-standing issue, with the consequences of Turkish invasion continuing to be an open wound for the island and its people.
Referring to the issue of Cyprus’ missing persons, Fotiou said that it remains an open wound for many years with heavy responsibilities of Turkey towards the families of the missing.
As he noted as time goes on, many of the relatives of missing persons complete their life cycle and leave, with unanswered questions about the fate of their loved ones. He pointed out that Cyprus Republic’s motives on the issue are humanitarian, contrary to those of Turkey, that tries to hide its barbaric actions during 1974 invasion.
” Of the 1,510 cases initially registered in the missing persons list, most are still pending. 810 Greek Cypriots and Greeks are still missing after 46 years. And this, while there is a risk, due to the attitude of the occupying power, that the situation will fall into a quagmire that will leave unanswered the questions for many of the missing persons of the tragedy of 1974″, he added.
He also said that there are even families of missing persons from the period 1963-67, who are looking for answers for more than half a century.
“The Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) program began in 2005 creating expectations in families that even after so many decades they could be informed, with convincing evidence, of the fate of their loved ones. It is tragic that expectations and anticipation have not been met until today with the required response and respect. On the contrary, the mockery and inhuman treatment, on the part of the occupying power, continues, causing enormous pain and agony to the families,” he added.
As he said, given the refusal of the occupying power to cooperate, there has been a dramatic reduction in locating remains and the number of identifications, in the last years.
Turkey, as he said, refuses to cooperate in the study of its military archives despite the agreement reached within the CMP, for the indication of mass burial sites as well as sites where the remains have been deliberately buried, by the Turkish army.
Fotiou also said that Turkey`s obligations and responsibilities are clear and have been decided by the European Court of Human Rights, 20 years ago.
The Commissioner clarified and stressed that the Republic of Cyprus is taking all necessary measures and carrying out all humanitarian actions for the solution of the cases of the missing Turkish Cypriots.
Fotiou also referred to the loss of lives due to coronavirus pandemic in the diaspora communities, especially in the United Kingdom and the United States, expressing his sincere condolences to their families.
In Cyprus, Fotiou continued, due to the measures taken by the government with the advice of experts, as well as with the cooperation of the public, much have been achieved, but there’s continuous vigilance and monitoring of the implementation of measures. He added that the full return to normalcy and dealing with the problems in various sectors of the economy, are among the priorities of government officials and President of the Republic, Nicos Anastasiades.
Presidential Commissioner vows to continue supporting Young Overseas Cypriots
Cypriot Presidential Commissioner Photis Photiou has pledged to continue supporting Young Overseas Cypriots as they are the future leaders of the Diaspora.
Photiou addressed the World Organisation for Young Overseas Cypriots (NEPOMAK) which was held on Wednesday via teleconferencing due to protective measures applied to contain the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. The conference was also addressed by the Cyprus Youth Organisation, Prodromos Alambritis and Christos Tuton, President of NEPOMAK, the World Organisation for Young Overseas Cypriots.
Addressing the online conference, Photiou conveyed the Cypriot President’s Nicos Anastasiades’ warm greetings and his commitment for continuous support to the youth of the Cyprus Diaspora.
“The emphasis given to you, the Youth of the Diaspora, is special as you are the future of the Diaspora. You are the Diaspora’s future leaders, the people we can rely on and to promote the interests of our country,” Photiou said addressing the conference.
He also highlighted the efforts to strengthen contacts and collaboration with other the Diaspora youth of other nationalities, pointing out that cooperation is taking place not just only with Greece but also with Israel, Egypt, Armenia and other countries.
Photiou said however the further upgrading of cooperation with Greece constitutes “the basic pillar of Cyprus’ national strategy on issues concerning the Diaspora.”
On his part, Alambritis highlighted the need for continuous contacts between overseas youth and the centre. Recalling that hundreds of visits by Diaspora youth have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, Alambritis said that the conference held via teleconferencing is particularly important “because dialogue with the Diaspora cannot and should never stop.
“This dialogue is the oxygen that keeps the prospect for prosperous future for the Cypriot Diaspora alive,” he added.
On his part, Tuton referred to NEPOMAK’s actions since its establishment, stressing that the organisation role is to connect overseas Cypriot youth with the island.
“On our part we will continue to work closely with POMAK and PSEKA and all overseas Cypriots organisations all over the world to support that endeavour to free our country,” he said, adding “we wish for a reunited Cyprus where all Cypriots could prosper together free from foreign occupation, foreign interventions, division, united for the benefit of all Cypriots.”
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.