President of the Republic of Cyprus

Speech made to the Assembly

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

I thank the President of the Parliamentary Assembly, Mr de Puig, for inviting me to address this august body, as well as for his kind introduction.

It is indeed an honour for me to address the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe for the first time since I was elected President of the Republic of Cyprus earlier this year.

The institution of the Council of Europe, endowed with the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights, and its accompanying protocols, is a unique achievement of which every European citizen may justifiably feel proud. Forty-seven European countries have jointly embraced a codified system of values, adopting and implementing procedures, such as the right of individual recourse, which are an important step forward for mankind in the field of safeguarding human rights.

The competent authorities of the Council of Europe, particularly the Court of Human Rights, the Committee of Ministers, the Commissioner for Human Rights and, of course, the Parliamentary Assembly itself, execute an important mission in a particularly vital field, and I would like from this venue to congratulate them on succeeding in establishing the authority of their decisions throughout Europe.

The Republic of Cyprus is firmly committed to the principles and values of the Council of Europe and the European Union. It fully appreciates the Council of Europe and recognises the unique role that it plays in accomplishing the noble mission that has been assigned to it. The Parliamentary Assembly constitutes the democratic means for promoting the basic principles of the Council of Europe and, as such, its contribution, through the efforts of its members, is greatly appreciated by the people of Cyprus in particular.

We would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation for the active interest the Council of Europe has taken in safeguarding the human rights of Cypriots who have suffered as a result of the Turkish invasion and continuing occupation of a large part of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus by over 40 000 well-armed Turkish troops

We deeply appreciate the valuable contribution that the European Court of Human Rights has made to the protection of human rights and the basic freedoms of all Cypriots. Allow me, however, to add that the judgments of the Court must be fully respected and the Committee of Ministers must act so that they are effectively implemented.

Tomorrow, on 1 October, we celebrate the anniversary of the creation of the independent Republic of Cyprus in 1960, the joint achievement of both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. Despite the many difficulties that the Cyprus Republic has been through in its history, its reunification is our vision. A united Cyprus, a functional state with a federal structure where the human rights and freedoms of all Cypriots without exception will be respected, should be our common legacy to children and grandchildren.

Unfortunately, foreign interventions and wrong choices made by certain circles in both communities on the island from the first few years of independence, prevented the development of this homeland for the benefit of all Cypriots. Instead of practical day-to-day co-operation within the framework of the institutions of the new state, which would have been the natural continuation of a long history of harmonious co-existence over centuries, the two communities found themselves opposed to each other, as a result of foreign intervention and the actions of certain chauvinist groups. Foreign interventions in Cyprus’s internal affairs reached a peak with the military coup of the Greek junta and the Turkish invasion in July-August 1974.

Personally, I am someone who in the past has resisted and fought chauvinism. I am glad to say that in the noble struggle we waged as fighters of the Popular Movement of Cyprus, I fought alongside the present leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, Mehmet Ali Talat, from the beginning of the 1980s. This, more than anything else, gives me hope that we can succeed in finally reaching an agreed solution that will serve the interests of Cypriots and not those of any foreigners.

I would like to reassure you that I remain committed to the common vision that we worked out together with Mr Talat and his predecessor, the late Ozker Ozgur – whose memory I salute – during the 1990s as leaders of AKEL and the Republican Turkish Party respectively. This vision was expressed in joint decisions and public statements of both communities after meetings between delegations led by the leaders. What does this vision entail? It entails a solution and reunification based on the relevant UN resolutions and the 1977 and 1979 high-level agreements between the leaders of the two communities under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General.

Together, we envisaged the transformation of the unitary state to a federation through the implementation of the principle of political equality between the two communities, as defined in the UN Security Council resolutions. Together, we envisioned a Cyprus for Cypriots without the presence of foreign troops, without the mass presence of foreign nationals as settlers who would change the demographic composition of the population. We envisioned a federal, united and common homeland, where the differences and identity of each community would be respected.

At the same time, it would also underline and cultivate the many common traditions and practices in our culture, which both Cypriot communities have developed over centuries of peaceful co-existence and co-operation.

We envisioned a Cyprus where any conflict between the communities will, in the context of a united economy, be replaced by a healthy competitiveness and an alignment of interests between the various classes of the population, irrespective of which community they come from.

Mr President and members of the Assembly, I would like to declare before you my faith in the Cypriot identity that has evolved from centuries of living together and which we must foster and promote. I am a Greek Cypriot and proud of my roots and identity, but equally I fully respect Mr Talat’s right to be different and proud of his roots and his identity. As a politician, however, and as President of the Republic of Cyprus in particular, I have the good of the country as a whole at heart, thinking as a Cypriot who wants to serve all his countrymen and create the right conditions to ensure that an undivided Cyprus, one that is our common homeland, survives.

All Cypriots have suffered, and we are all victims of the tragedy, or rather the tragedies, that have struck our country. We all need to benefit finally from a return to political normality and the restoration of our human rights, which we have been deprived of for so many decades.

A new intense effort to solve the Cyprus problem began on 3 September, aimed at overcoming past deadlocks and achieving progress that will lead to the reunification of Cyprus under mutually agreed terms, and to the withdrawal of all foreign troops after 34 years of division and foreign occupation.

These talks are taking place under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General, in the framework of his Good Offices Mission that the UN Security Council gave him through the relevant resolutions. These also set out the legal and political framework in which these negotiations are taking place.

The UN Secretary-General’s Good Offices Mission entails a process of negotiation between the leaders of the two communities, this process being owned by Cypriots themselves. The role of the Secretary-General and the international community is to provide help and support. Good Offices do not mean arbitration. Nor do they mean mediation. Recent experience has shown that any imported plans that do not serve the interests of Cypriots will be rejected by the Cypriot people.

The framework for a solution outlined by the relevant resolutions foresees a bi-zonal, bicommunal federation with a single international personality, a single indivisible sovereignty and a single citizenship. Federal institutions will embody the principle of political equality as laid out by the relevant UN resolutions. This political equality is defined not as numerical equality but as the effective participation of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities in all the organs of the federal state.

It is important to remember that such a bi-zonal, bicommunal federation is the only agreed basis for a solution since 1977 and was recently reaffirmed by the leaders of the two communities. This represents a compromise, in actual fact the only possible compromise, on whose foundations a new political arrangement can be built. The relevant UN Security Council resolutions, as well as the Constitution of Cyprus, rule out partition or secession or unification with another country.

Mr President, I wish to reassure you from this podium that I have the political will needed to do whatever is necessary to solve this problem. I am supported in this statement by my aforementioned actions during the Popular Movement in Cyprus, which is proud of its long history of struggle and sacrifice in support of the friendship, co-operation and peaceful co-existence between Greek and Turkish Cypriots. Furthermore, I am also amongst those Cypriots who were directly affected by the 1974 military invasion since my family and I were displaced and became refugees in our own country.

Allow me at this point and from this podium to make certain specific suggestions which, I believe, will improve the climate surrounding the negotiations and will increase their chances of succeeding.

I would like first of all to say that during my recent meeting with the UN Secretary-General in New York last week, I suggested that he promote an agreement to cancel the annual military exercises that are held each autumn in and around Cyprus. I refer specifically to the Nikiforos exercise, carried out by the Cyprus National Guard, and the Toros exercise, carried out by the Turkish military forces in Cyprus.

In addition, I propose that measures of military de-escalation also be agreed upon and implemented, such as the disengagement of forces, particularly in the Nicosia region, including the full demilitarisation of the old town of Nicosia within the Venetian walls, the designation of a demilitarised zone, and other measures.

We are fully aware that the procedure that has started will be difficult. This has been clear from the outset. On our part, we will work as hard as we possibly can and spare no effort to ensure that it has a successful outcome. We do not have the luxury to fail. No solution is not a solution, as some people claim. On the contrary, the lack of a solution, with the problem still pending, will probably lead to the permanent partition of the island, which is the worst possible outcome for both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. The people have voted for us on the basis of promises we have made to do everything possible to achieve progress. We must not disappoint them, or the international community.

I believe that we can, and that must succeed. This is what guides all my political actions. This is the incentive that led me to seek election as President of the Republic of Cyprus and I hope and believe that it will constitute the pinnacle of my political career.

The will of the Cypriot people for a solution is essential. However, it is not in itself sufficient. Turkey, too, must contribute to the process in a positive way. Turkey maintains over 40 000 troops and tens of thousands of colonists in Cyprus and can undoubtedly determine the outcome of the issues being discussed. We believe that the solution should and will benefit everyone. It will allow all Cypriots – Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots – to live and work together in an independent prosperous country within the family of the European Union, without the presence of foreign troops and illegal settlers, in conditions of safety and where everyone’s identity and rights will be respected. It will also give an impetus to Turkey’s efforts to join the European Union, of which Cyprus is already a full member.

We expect that Turkey will rise to the occasion and fulfil its obligations to the Republic of Cyprus arising from its efforts to join the EU. In this way, Turkey will contribute positively to the efforts to find a solution that will respect the basic principles of international law, the principles and values of the European Union and of the European Convention on Human Rights.

THE PRESIDENT (interpretation)

thanked Mr Christofias for his most interesting address. Many of the issues touched upon were highly relevant to what was happening at present, especially the comments about Cyprus’s path to unification. These were ideas that went beyond speeches.

A large number of colleagues wished to put questions to Mr Christofias, and speakers were reminded that questions needed to be interrogatory and could not be used to make statements. The first question was from Mr Pourgourides, on behalf of the Group of the European People’s Party.


My group has authorised me to express to you, Mr President, our great satisfaction with, and congratulations on, your genuine and tireless efforts for the reunification of Cyprus. In the meantime, my group feels that more could be done to assist the Turkish Cypriot community to raise their standard of living even higher and to integrate with the European Union and the international community generally. What is your position on that issue?

Mr Christofias, President of the Republic of Cyprus (interpretation)

said that the Republic of Cyprus was making it possible for Turkish fellow citizens to import and export commodities. What he had just said amounted to an official statement.

Mr Christofias, President of the Republic of Cyprus

(The speaker continued in English)

Every day, 7 000 Turkish Cypriots cross the frontier and work with Greek Cypriots. They receive salaries far higher than they would in the other part of the island. All Turkish Cypriot compatriots have the right, at any time, to visit the public health institutions in the republic to have free treatment. They can also have surgical treatment. Have measures already been implemented that make the lives of the Turkish Cypriots easier? I have to say to Mr Pourgourides that during the past four years the income of the Turkish Cypriots has doubled. Now, the per capita income of a Turkish Cypriot is $12 000.

We are not, of course, fully satisfied with that. We want more for our Turkish Cypriot compatriots, but there is an obstacle. That obstacle is the occupation. Obstacles come from the fact that, unfortunately, the Turkish leadership insists on the existence of a second state in the great Republic of Cyprus. It is not possible for that to happen, according to UN Security Council Resolutions 541 and 550. There is no state in Cyprus except the legitimate state, the Republic of Cyprus, and there is one legitimate government.

We need to do our utmost to reunify the country. We need the Republic of Cyprus to evolve into a commonwealth or federation to solve, finally and for ever, all those problems.

Mr IWINSKI (Poland)

The Socialist Group observes with great sympathy the ongoing dialogue between two communities, Greek and Turkish, the return to negotiation and the increasing chances for reconciliation, as well as reunification of the Republic of Cyprus. However, many of us are concerned about different consequences of several recent international events such as Kosovo’s independence and conflict in the Caucasus. Therefore, can you assure us, Mr President, that such situations will not have a negative impact on the positive processes that are going on in Cyprus?

Mr Christofias, President of the Republic of Cyprus

I could turn that question back to the international community and to the Council of Europe. If we follow international legitimacy, the principles of international law, the principles and values of the European Union, and the principles and values of this Council of Europe, such a thing will never happen because the Republic of Cyprus is one. It must be united.

As I mentioned before, according to the treaties on the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus and to the constitution, secession, partition or unity with any other country are prohibited. We want to safeguard that, with Mr Talat, as a result of our agreement. Cyprus is very small to be divided, but it is large enough to contain the whole people of Cyprus – Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Maronites, Latins and Armenians.

That is our vision, and as I said before, we will do our utmost to safeguard the union of the country under a federal solution. We did not agree with the secession of Kosovo, and of course we do not agree with the secession of any other country. That is our principled position and we shall continue to follow it.

Baroness KNIGHT OF COLLINGTREE (United Kingdom)

Regretting that four years have already passed with no improvements being achieved since the referendum, which could have led to an amicable settlement in Cyprus, how soon do you think that the efforts of which you have spoken today will bear fruit?

Mr Christofias, President of the Republic of Cyprus

I have already stressed that solutions that come from outside and impose the will of others on the Cypriot people will not be accepted. We are a small country with a small number of people, but we have our dignity. We want to live in peace and freedom without solutions being imposed from outside.

I am in a hurry. That is why I asked to become President of the Republic. I am against stagnation. I am in a hurry to solve the problem, but, at the same time, to solve the problem we must return to our common language – the Cypriot language, the language of friends, the language of comrades if you like – with Mr Talat, with whom we define principles and progressive common positions towards a solution of the problem.

A solution depends on the Cypriots, but it also depends on Turkey. In my opinion, the key to a solution does not lie in Nicosia. Nicosia must do its utmost to come together and achieve common and acceptable agreement, but without the assistance of Turkey and without Turkey taking positive positions it will not be possible to solve the problem soon.

Mr LEYDEN (Ireland)

I welcome you, Mr President, and commend you on your work for Cyprus and its reunification, and your work with Mr Talat. You must take great hope from the solution to the problems in Ireland, which we had for longer than Cyprus has had problems.

Will you ensure the integrity of properties in northern Cyprus? Will you ensure that those who are buying properties will not get title to them, whether they are in northern Cyprus or are purchasers from the rest of Europe? Will you ensure that those properties are returned to their rightful owners?

Mr Christofias, President of the Republic of Cyprus

Thank you for that question. As we all know, the soul of the system in which we live is private property. When you tell the owners of private property that, according to the solution, they are prohibited from returning and using that property and that, because of the war and the invasion, it is no longer theirs, it is not possible for them to accept any solution. That is a matter of fact. Therefore, there is a principle, to be accepted by both communities and by Turkey, that the owners from 1964, when these clashes started, continue to be the real owners of the property. How we will overcome the difficulties on the ground is another matter, which we are going to negotiate.

However, there is another principle: to give the owners the free choice to return and use their property. He or she must have the right to do that. What if they say, “I do not want to return and I do not want to use my property any more; I want compensation”? Let us put this possibility on the table and give people the choice. Thirdly, what if the owners say, “I want to exchange my property with the property of Turkish Cypriots”? These are the choices, but a precondition is accepting the principle that the owners are the owners and giving them the choice.

Mr KOX (Netherlands)

Mr President, you are indeed a brave politician to announce in this Assembly that you do not have the luxury of failing in your mission to reunite your republic. Can you tell us what this Assembly and its members can do to support you in your mission to reunite your republic and what we should not do, in order not to hinder your attempts?

Mr Christofias, President of the Republic of Cyprus

The best way for this body to give me the possibility to breathe and to do my utmost to solve the problem is to continue following the principles of the Council of Europe, of the European Convention on Human Rights and, of course, the United Nations and international law. Otherwise, if for the sake of any interests or avoiding any contradictions, we upgrade the second entity, directly or indirectly, it will be a catastrophe. Of course, I stress my position that I, as a person who wants fanatically the reunification of the country, will never accept that upgrading or the existence of a second state in Cyprus. That is my position, so I request that you follow those principles. That is the best way to help me and Mr Talat. It must be understood that these are the principles, that this is international law, and that these are the values of a united Europe and the Council of Europe. We have to respect that – both of us – in order to have a stable framework for the solution of the problem.


Mr Christofias, do you also assume that this Assembly is an outsider, just as you called the United Nations outsiders? Secondly, the international contacts of Turkish Cypriots in sport are highly criticised and opposed by the Greek Cypriot public. In this atmosphere, what is your government doing to prepare the Greek Cypriot public to accept a political settlement on the island? Without an awareness-raising campaign, will it not be possible for the Greek Cypriot public to reject an agreement in a referendum, as they did in 2004?

Mr Christofias, President of the Republic of Cyprus

My friend, I think that the Turkish Cypriots have the possibility to promote cultural and sporting activities. The Turkish Cypriot football federation has already agreed with the Cypriot football federation to act under its umbrella, in the national federation. FIFA, too, has agreed. However, there are obstacles. What are the obstacles? It is not possible, because somebody has not given Turkish Cypriots the opportunity to move forward in that direction.

On the other hand – this is the substance of your question – since the very beginning of my term, I have spoken frankly to both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots about having a common state. The Republic of Cyprus will not be a Turkish state and it will not be a Greek state; it will be the state of the Cypriots – the federal united Republic of Cyprus, in which Cypriots will share power together. This was courageous from my side and some criticised me in the Greek Cypriot community.

I made another statement, which received criticism from other forces. I said that I was ready to accept a rotating presidency with the Turkish Cypriots. This does not mean five years for the Greek Cypriots and five years for the Turkish Cypriots, because there is no numerical equality, as I said. We must take into account the fact that political equality does not mean numerical equality, but with the effective participation of both communities, we could come to an agreement on that proposal.

Some people told me that I was moving in a hurry. I said something else – I am not going to mention it now – which was a good offer to the Turkish Cypriots, as well as to Turkey. What is the response? I am waiting for it. These goodwill moves must be reciprocated by Turkey first of all.

Mr BREEN (Ireland)

I respect your commitment to the problem that has divided your country for 30 years, Mr President. How have the five border crossings into northern Cyprus that were recently opened worked so far? Have you encouraged your people to go back and forth? Are there more strategic crossings that could be opened to help your people and are there any negotiations with Mr Talat to open more crossings?

Mr Christofias, President of the Republic of Cyprus

Thank you dear friend. It is a fact that, during the first meeting with Mr Talat on 21 March, only 15 or 20 days after my election, we decided to open the crossing point at Ledra Street, which is the heart of Nicosia. The market was there and I grew up there. I know how that street united Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot sectors in Nicosia. We decided to open the street. There were two other aspects to the agreement, including restoring some buildings in the area. I do not know why the Turkish side is not moving in that direction. There is stubbornness on that matter. The other aspect of the agreement relates to disengagement of troops from both sides, with a view to demilitarising the whole region of Nicosia.

We decided on the same day to open another crossing point in the north-west where people have been living since 1964 – both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. To go to Nicosia, it takes three hours but there is a possibility of cutting that to 50 minutes. If we open that crossing point, that will release and free those people.

I also had meetings with Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot villagers who pressed us to move forward. I am sad to say that there is stubbornness from the military forces. We must move forward. I asked those questions at the table. So far we have not been able to resolve those issues. There are other useful measures but up to now Turkey has disagreed or rejected the proposal. Security Council Resolution 550 of 1984 called on Turkey to open the ghost city of Famagusta for its inhabitants, but Turkey has not responded. The previous government of the republic suggested opening Famagusta for its inhabitants and, under the auspices of the EU, at the same time opening the port there for trade with Turkish Cypriots. That was rejected, too.

There are opportunities for confidence-building measures which will make life in both communities better by building more confidence between ordinary human beings. They have contact and home exchange visits. They come together as villagers, they reunify themselves and celebrate, but we need more. We need a solution that will solve all those problems.

Mr BRANGER (France)

said that his commitment to women’s rights and to fighting all types of violence against women was well known. Many eastern European women had travelled to Cyprus seeking, or having been promised, work in creative industries, but on arrival had been forced to be prostitutes. The existence of visas for the performing arts, which were easier to obtain, was a loophole that needed to be addressed. The increase in the number of these “cabaret visas” and growing exploitation meant that more and more women were falling into the hands of pimps. While he knew that the Cypriot Government was against this, what specific steps were being taken to stop this practice?

Mr Christofias, President of the Republic of Cyprus

Thank you, dear friend, for that crucial question. As a political personality, I am a fighter for the human rights of all the people of Cyprus, including women, and I would like to move forward. During my presidency, the House has passed important and progressive legislation. That got a very good response from Europe. On the concrete problem, the Minister of the Interior stated 15 days ago that visas for so-called artists will be prohibited because we are against trafficking. We shall take extra measures to end that practice, which is unacceptable and insulting to women. I am keen that we take new measures.

Ms KEAVENEY (Ireland)

Like Ireland, Cyprus has known the divisiveness of conflict. What role, if any, does history teaching in your schools play in developing peace and understanding of all peoples in your country? How are the diverse views and interactions of different cultures represented in Cyprus supported in practical and policy terms? I wish you well in your peace process.

Mr Christofias, President of the Republic of Cyprus

If you will allow me to clarify, I say “all citizens” of the Republic, or “all communities” of the Republic instead of “peoples”. That is crucial. Some people say that there are two peoples in Cyprus. That is not the case. There is only one united people, a unique people, consisting of two communities: the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities. This year, the government committed itself to implementing education reform. We have started that process. That reform includes measures on the teaching of conciliation between the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots. Of course, that does not mean that we are going to keep silent about the external interference and the occupation. We appeal for this year to be a year of conciliation in education. Step by step, we are going to change the history books in our country’s education system in order to teach young people, in an objective way of course, to avoid any hatred towards the Cypriots. We do not hate the Turkish people – the people are always innocent. Only leaderships are guilty, in many cases anyway. We must take concrete measures towards what you asked.

Mr O’HARA (United Kingdom)

I would like also to wish President Christofias well in his negotiations. His whole career and integrity have served him well for this culmination and, I hope, success. I simply ask him to reaffirm his commitment to joint action on the conservation of the monuments and treasures of old Famagusta, the restoration of Varosha and the return of the citizens of all communities of that great town to their homes.

Mr Christofias, President of the Republic of Cyprus

I feel that I have already responded to this. It would be a miracle and a very important step forward if the Turkish side – and I mean Turkey – were to respect UN Resolution 550 to give the inhabitants of Famagusta and Varosha the possibility of returning. We are fully ready, of course, to restore the old city of Famagusta where Turkish Cypriots are living. This place could become a place of common and peaceful living and peaceful exchanges – cultural, economic and other trade exchanges between the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots. That is a target as well as a vision.

Mr ÇAGLAR (Representative of the Turkish Cypriot Community)

We hope and expect the two leaders to take co-religious steps towards reconciliation on the basis of the United Nations parameters and to reach a settlement by the end of 2008 or at the latest by the beginning of 2009. In your opening statement on the first day of fully-fledged negotiations, you stated that the Greek Cypriot side will not be making any further concessions due to the fact that it has already done so 30 years ago by accepting a federal solution. If the Greek Cypriot side considers a federal solution as a concession, does not that mean that the party that is in favour of a federal solution is in fact the Turkish Cypriot side? In that case, why are you trying to portray the Turkish Cypriot side as a party that is seeking recognition?

Mr Christofias, President of the Republic of Cyprus

I thank you, dear compatriot, for that question. We have to be realistic and we have to speak the truth. The Cypriot state established in 1960 is a unitary state with partners, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. Why a unitary state? Because for centuries the natural conditions in Cyprus were that the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots lived mixed all over the island, so there is a lack of criteria for federation. The Turkish Cypriots were removed only after the invasion and occupation – the expulsion of people using military force, violating international law and the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus. One third of the population are Turkish Cypriots. They were removed to the northern part. Perhaps my friend is from Paphos or from Limassol – the southern part. Only President Makarios – a very well known, famous politician – had the courage and was popular enough to take such a decision and to say, “Okay, if the Turkish Cypriots are going to feel more secure staying in the northern part of Cyprus, I am going to evaluate the evolution of the unitary state in relation to a common federal state.” So we accepted that this is a commitment on the Greek Cypriot side, and of course it is a historical concession.

I did not say, and I do not say, that there is no space for give and take, but I am not going to give and take on principles. This is my commitment: no give and take on principles but there are such possibilities on secondary things. That is my position. When the Turkish side mentions guarantees on security, that is a red line matter for us. The Turkish side has red lines; the Greek side must have which lines – blue lines? We both have to be reasonable. Turkey must understand that she has to follow principles – to take away military force and to allow for the possibility that Cypriots can live together in peace and security according to their own decisions. There will never be a second state in Cyprus. We must solve the problem and have a united federal republic of Cyprus within which we share the power and the fruits of the development of our own country.

Cyprus is blessed by God and by nature. It could become a paradise on earth. Only human beings stand in the way of the possibility of achieving this goal. Let us together – Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots – create a paradise on earth in order to welcome our friends and to give them the ability, as tourists, to have vacations on this beautiful island – the island of Venus. Thank you.


Thank you, Mr Christofias, for your statement, for answering questions, and for the content of those answers. Your speech encourages us to be on your side, in terms of your decision and political will to reunify the islands. Perhaps someday we can go to your country to celebrate the reunification. Thank you very much.