Outgoing President Anastasiades sends points of order to his successor as he prepares to leave office in six weeks, calling on the next President to honour the will of the popular vote when it comes to their Cyprus issue actions.
In an interview with Phileleftheros, he expressed deep concern over the next steps, given continued Turkish aggression and the quality that any settlement would have, asking the new Presidential Palace resident to safeguard the ‘red lines’.
Namely, establishing true independence and sovereignty for the Republic of Cyprus, without third party interference, while in the same vein and more importantly, abolish guarantees and intervention rights and secure the complete withdrawal of Turkish occupation troops.
‘My successor must achieve a workable system of government post-solution that does not content elements leading to the repercussions seen in other states such as Bosnia-Herzegovina or Lebanon’, the President noted, also pointing out the importance of safeguarding the post solution European acquis.
Anastasiades defended his handling of the Cyprus issue over the past decade, admitting that observing the process from a distance and actually taking part as a negotiator are two very different things.
Responding to criticism that he set off with an ambition to solve the problem and is no leaving office as the ‘no man’, the outgoing President said that those believing they can actually change the situation by playing nice guy and pampering Turkey are simply deluded.
He further noted the importance of the energy factor in the whole process, believing that Cyprus can raise itself to a player of significance in the Eastern Mediterranean and Europe by utilising natural gas deposits.
Meanwhile, in his last Presidential New Year message to the country, Anastasiades said he felt proud about the internal state of affairs he is passing on to the next President, despite the disappointment of not having seen through his vision to solve the Cyprus issue, one of the challenges that actually prompted him into politics, as he stressed.
‘I have never doubted anyone’s patriotism so I call on all political party powers, to work together beyond ideological differences, in maintaining political and financial stability and securing the survival of Greek Cypriots through a viable, workable and permament settlement, without sidelining Turkish Cypriot concerns’, the President added.
The popular mandate he achieved twice, Anastasiades noted, and the trust, patience and persistence that he showed, allowed his government to succesfully manage a number of crises.
‘Gratitude and love is what I leave behind’.