President Anastasiades highlights role of the Diaspora in efforts for a Cyprus settlement

President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades has highlighted the role of the Diaspora in government efforts to reach a just settlement to the Cyprus problem.

Anastasiades, in New York for the UN General Assembly, addressed an official dinner hosted by the Federation of Cypriot American Organizations.

In his address, the President reiterated his steadfast position regarding a solution of the Cyprus problem based on UN resolutions and the EU acquis.

He also conveyed a message to the Turkish Cypriots that the EU acquis, the rules and regulations governing the function of the European Union of which Cyprus is a member since 2004, will offer protection to every Cypriot citizen.

“We want our Turkish Cypriot fellow citizens to realize that we do not need guarantees and guarantors, we do not need to depend on any third country,” he said.

The President of the Republic also said the presence of the diaspora strengthens his will and determination to prove worthy of the vision of Cypriots living abroad and of the desires of their compatriots in Cyprus.

He told Cypriot expats that he is striving to convey to every direction that a viable and functional settlement can only exist if UN principles, UN resolutions and especially the EU aquis are respected.

Referring to foreign policy, Anastasiades said that bilateral ties with the US are being strengthened, adding ties with Israel and other countries of the region increase Cyprus’ political clout in spite of its small size.

The President noted that Nicosia maintains friendly relations with its EU partners, in addition to retaining its traditional relations with the big powers, such as Russia.

The government, he said, since its election has been redefining its foreign policy to render it more effective.

Anastasiades also referred to the improvement of the Cypriot economy and the increase in the standard of living and recalled that Cyprus’ sovereign credit rating has been upgraded to investment-grade status.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Numerous UN-backed negotiations, aiming at reuniting the island under a federal roof, have failed to yield results. The latest talks under UN aegis took place in the summer of 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana.