NICOSIA - Despite the intense challenges, the President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades has made clear the Greek Cypriot side`s intention to restart negotiations on the Cyprus issue the soonest possible, Minister of Defence Photis Photiou has said.
Speaking at the memorial service for reservist Second Lieutenant Demetris Stavros, who was killed during the 1974 Turkish invasion and was missing until his remains were found in 2001, Photiou said acts of heroism and bravery have not been vindicated for the past 39 years.
"Through substantive and well-prepared negotiations, we are aiming to create an atmosphere of domestic consensus, to overcome obstacles which led the talks in the past to a deadlock. Despite the intransigent stance of Turkey, we are daring to promote proposals that in our opinion will cause speculation and could prove to be a catalyst in the process. And we must dare because this is the only way to find a way out," he said.
Photiou added that "we must have a vision, because this is the only way to fight for a solution that will not legalise Turkey’s occupation but will lift the consequences, will not be based on the violation of our rights but the securing of the fundamental freedoms of our people, a solution that will bring about the unity of the our state, without barbed wire and divisions."
The Minister called on all those who are really interested in a just and viable solution in Cyprus to address themselves to Ankara and exert pressure towards a negotiated settlement, that would reunite the country.
He stressed that the Cyprus issue is a matter of invasion and occupation of an independent state by Turkey.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. The latest round of UN-led peace talks was suspended by the Turkish Cypriot side, in July last year. Talks are expected to resume in October.