The European Union has a duty to contribute to the solution of the Cyprus issue, which is an open wound to the body of the E.U., Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said on Wednesday.
Anastasiades addressed the European Parliament in Strasbourg, saying that the healing of this wound “will strengthen the Union, not only morally but essentially,” since Cyprus will be able to play its important role to the fullest extent. The president said Cyprus is also located in an area of particular importance to the interests of the Union.
The Cypriot president stressed that the Cyprus problem “is basically a problem of foreign invasion and occupation and violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms by Turkey.” He reiterated for the Parliament that “in 1974 over one third of the population of Cyprus was forced to flee its homeland.”
The return of the town of Varosha to its legitimate inhabitants would be the ideal confidence-building measure, Anastasiadis offered. This could be a model of co-existence and cooperation between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, and an excellent precursor to the overall solution for the divided island.
He recalled for the lawmakers that, both in 1984 and 1992, the international community, through the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 550 and 789, called for the transfer of the administration of Varosha.
To this day the area remains under the control of the Turkish army. The measures taken so many years ago both stipulate that Varosha be put under the protection of the United Nations.
The Cypriot president promised the members of the European Parliament of his will and determination to work hard to achieve a solution that, in his words, “will not create winners or losers.”