20 July, 2004
In his message marking the 30th year since the invasion of Cyprus by Turkish forces on Tuesday, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis said the anniversary of a tragedy that had deeply scarred minds and memories was an opportunity to think and plan actions for the future.
"The memories must teach and not be an obstacle to efforts to eliminate the consequences of the great injustice that took place 30 years ago on Cyprus," he added, noting that Cyprus' accession to the European Union was a historic development that confirmed this, a catalyst-event for a better future, one of safety and prosperity that would benefit Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots.
"It is the duty of us all to help in healing the wounds of the past and contribute to the building of a new, hopeful prospect for Cyprus by finding a just, functional and viable solution [to the Cyprus problem] on the basis of the plan of the United Nations Secretary General [Kofi Annan], for the benefit of the two communities but also the wider region of the eastern Mediterranean," he concluded.
Parliament President Anna Psarouda-Benaki on Monday issued a statement stressing that Cyprus still remains a divided island 30 years after a bloody Turkish invasion in 1974, even though it is now a member of the European Union.
She added that the need to find a resolution to the long-standing Cyprus problem is now greater than ever.
"Nicosia is the only divided capital in Europe and the growing imbalance of Turkish settlers to Turkish Cypriots is extremely disturbing," Psarouda-Benaki said.
Main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, said in a statement on Monday the invasion led to Hellenism's latest tragedy.
"The Turkish invasion of Cyprus thirty years ago, following national treason by the dictatorial regime of Athens and its collaborators in Nicosia, led to Hellenism's latest tragedy, with occupation by the Turkish military and the island's division continuing until today," he said.
"The governments of PASOK implemented a national strategy with consistency and determination in all the years that have passed which contributed to the accession of Cyprus to the European Union and, at the same time, to the issue of Cyprus becoming an international one again and to the activation of the UN," the PASOK leader added.
Papandreou also said the accession of Cyprus to the EU was a major national success which refuted Cassandras who linked accession to a solution to the political problem being found before this occurred.
"Today, more than ever, and taking into consideration the new conditions created after the referendum, there is an urgent need for a new strategy to be shaped to achieve the target of a bizonal and bicommunal federation, and of the reunification of the island, with respect for the resolutions of the Security Council and the European acquis communautaire," Papandreou said.
He further said PASOK places the issue of Cyprus historically in the nucleus of its priorities and will steadfastly continue its active relationship of solidarity with the government of Cyprus and the people of Cyprus.
Source: Athens News Agency