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We have to focus on the future, President says

19 June, 2014

President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades has stressed that everyone's efforts should focus on the future and on planning the next steps ahead.

Addressing on Wednesday evening a graduation ceremony of the Cyprus University of Technology, in the coastal city of Limassol, he said “We all need to show determination, courage and persistence on both our national problem and our exit from the economic crisis.”

Referring to the efforts to reunite the island, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion, the President assured that the government is working persistently and painstakingly in order to rid Cyprus of the Turkish occupation and reunite the country.

“I strongly believe this is possible. We are seeking an honorable solution, sincerely and decisively, but we also demand at the same time mutual respect, which begins with respect for what has already been agreed,” he added.

President Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu reached agreement on a joint statement on February 11 this year, which sets the framework and the fundamental principles of a solution and signaled the beginning of a new effort to resolve the Cyprus problem.

“I want to reiterate that the joint statement clearly provides that human rights and the acquis communautaire should be implemented in the entire territory of the Republic of Cyprus and that any solution should safeguard the single state, single sovereignty, one international personality and a single citizenship”, he said.

At the same time he assured that despite the obvious difficulties at the negotiating table the Greek Cypriot side expects the Turkish side to change its intransigent stance and the international community to use its influence on the party which prevents progress, so that talks can continue to the next phase.

Referring to the economy, the President said the government is making tremendous efforts, highlighting the fact that one year after the Cypriot banking sector found itself on the brink of collapse, Cyprus is now returning to the international markets, from which it had been excluded since mid 2011 and is optimistic for the future.

He stressed that the successful issue on Wednesday of a €0.75 billion 5 year bond will under no circumstances mean that the effort for reform and fiscal consolidation will slack.

He thanked the people of Cyprus for their patience so far, noting that without their sacrifices the country will not have been able to recover.