Nicosia - A defiant President Anastasiades yesterday told overseas Cypriots that the cash-strapped island will get back on its feet.
“We will make it, Cyprus will get back on its feet as it did after the Turkish invasion in 1974,” Anastasiades told the 17th Overseas Cypriots international conference which got underway in Nicosia.
“I am convinced that united we will succeed. If we put aside political expediencies, we will achieve our goals much sooner than some would have us believe,” he added.
The two–day-long meeting is organised by Pomak-Pseka and youth branch Nepomak.
Delegates are being briefed on developments in the Cyprus problem, economic affairs, energy issues and other matters of interest.
The President also assured them that despite the economic woes and bleak political developments in the region, an overall settlement of the Cyprus problem is the government’s top priority.
“Despite developments in the region, despite the difficult economic situation we face today, our priority is the solution of the Cyprus problem, the reunification of our country,” he said.
“We are now trying to build those conditions that will allow everyone without exception, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, to live together peacefully in a modern European country.”
Rapid developments in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea underscore the stabilising role Cyprus plays in the region, he also said.
And, in conjunction with the discovery of natural gas reserves in the island’s Exclusive Economic Zone, Cyprus is given a unique advantage on both a European and an international level, Anastasiades argued.
Presidential Commissioner for Overseas Cypriots Affairs Kate Clerides said the presence of so many Cypriots living abroad shows the love for their homeland.
“To achieve our goals we must act collectively and unite forces. We need your support also,” Clerides said. POMAK president Haris Sophoclides said because of the economic crisis, this is the first time the Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus does not feature at the top of the agenda of the meeting, he added.
Nepomak president Christos Karaolis said young Cypriots are trying to keep alive the struggle for justice for Cyprus through electronic social media networking.