In the new, complicated arena of international relations after Russia’s invasion in Ukraine, Turkey appears as the “evasive neutral” party which is serving, however, only its interests, Interior Minister Nicos Nouris said on Sunday. In a memorial service for the EOKA liberation struggle hero Stylianos Lenas in Handria village, Nouris said the war in Ukraine inevitably awakened memories of the Turkish invasion in 1974, adding that Turkey is looking only to gain from the crisis.
He said Cyprus, as a country under occupation for nearly 48 years, fully realised the pain of the Ukrainian people, adding that Cyprus and its people support the people of Ukraine and are calling for an immediate end to the hostilities to stop the tragic loss of innocent lives and the violation of international law principles which Vladimir Putin and the Russian army are flagrantly violating.
The Interior Minister criticised Turkey for appearing neutral and as an EU candidate country and member of NATO, chooses not to participate in the sanctions imposed by the West against the Russian invaders in Ukraine and is also trying to benefit from the West’s fall out with Russia, turning the Ukraine crisis into an opportunity.
Turning to the Cyprus problem, he said the passage of time has a negative effect on the future of our divided country and called for a solution on the basis of the agreed framework that will reunify the country and create favourable prospects for the future.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results.