Today is a day of honour for those who sacrificed their lives but also a day of reflection on the consequences of the betrayal, President Nicos Anastasiades said on Wednesday, following a memorial service for those who died during the 1974 coup.
The Greek military junta, then ruling Greece, toppled on July 15, 1974 the democratically elected president of Cyprus, the late Archbishop Makarios III. The events which unfolded led to Cyprus’ division and occupation by Turkey.
President Anastasiades said that today is a sad day as a result of an illegal criminal act of Greek officers of the Athens junta, but also of a few dishonest citizens.
He pointed out that today we pay tribute first and foremost to those who gave their lives for democracy, freedom and national dignity, but at the same time we need to reflect on the consequences of the betrayal and how to deal with those consequences.
The President said that the government is working in collaboration with Greece and a number of countries in Europe and outside, and especially with the United Nations in order to create the conditions that will allow us to have a solution, via dialogue and in the absence of threats and unlawful actions by Turkey. He said that this solution needs to meet the expectations of both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, but above all must be in line with the European acquis and principles and to be viable and just.
Asked about the tripartite meeting in Berlin on Monday between Greece, Turkey and Germany, the President said he was briefed by the Greek Prime Minister during their meeting yesterday in Athens. He said that it is an effort to create some channels of communication to prevent crises.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. The latest round of UN-backed negotiations for a solution took place in the summer of 2017 in the Swiss resort of Crans Montana but failed to yield any results.