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Cyprus Celebrates 51st Independence from British Rule

Cyprus celebrates its Independence Day today, Oct 1st, an event celebrated all over the country. Cypriots celebrate the 51st anniversary of the end of Cyprus’ war for independence, with street parties, live music and a huge military parade in the capital city of Nicosia.
An island country in the Eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus lies south of Turkey and west of Syria and Lebanon. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and is one of the most attractive tourist spots. It is visited by over 2.4 million tourists a year.
The President of the Republic Mr Demetris Christofias, on the occasion of the anniversary, stressed that the country will continue the explorations for natural gas in its Exclusive Economic Zone, noting that Cyprus cannot remain hostage to Turkey’s unwillingness to cooperate for a solution and thus not to exercise its sovereign rights.
Addressing an event yesterday, organized by the AKEL party on the occasion of the anniversary of the independence of Cyprus, President Christofias said that since the Republic of Cyprus began exploratory drilling, Turkey has intensified its provocations in an effort to prevent Cyprus from exercising its sovereign rights. “Turkey, with provocations and threats, violates the international law, which it is called upon to respect” the President said, adding that at the same time the United Nations, the EU and the international community must continue their efforts in the direction of Turkey and demand that it respects the international law and that it stops its policy of threats against the Republic of Cyprus which constitutes a source of tension and danger in the region. He also described as excuses the linking of the Cyprus problem with the explorations in the EEZ.
It is the two communities that participate, so there can be no issue from the Turkish side or from anybody else. There is no linking of the explorations for hydrocarbons with the ongoing process for the solution of the Cyprus problem”, he added. He further underlined that the Republic of Cyprus cannot remain hostage to the unwillingness of Turkey to cooperate for a solution and thus not exercise its sovereign rights, and reiterated that the sovereign rights of Cyprus are non-negotiable. “We will continue the explorations always acting strictly in the framework of the international law”, he stressed. Referring to the Cyprus issue, he repeated that we must never compromise with partition, which is the long-term aim of the expansionists of Turkey and the chauvinist circles of the Turkish Cypriot community.
Cyprus achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1960 and became a member of the Commonwealth in 1961. The country has a stable economy as evidenced by a very high Human Development Index (HDI). Its well developed infrastructure has attracted several offshore businesses. The Cypriot economy is largely dominated by the services sector, including trade, tourism, and education.
Cyprus has seen a large influx of guest workers from countries such as Thailand, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka, as well as major increases in the numbers of permanent Russian, British, and other European Union residents.

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